Is Your Online Reputation Causing You To Be Bypassed for Interviews?

Shaun Enders

If you are seeking a job, you need to make sure the digital footprint you are leaving online will meet with the approval of potential employers. Recruiters and companies regularly check the search engines to learn more about job candidates.

Some Revelatory Statistics

In fact, according to one article in Forbes, 90% of executive recruiters admit they conduct online searches and research on their applicants. Not only that, as many as 70% of employers, who use LinkedIn, state they chose not to hire a job candidate once they reviewed their data online.

In addition, research statistics reveal that only 27% of employers give job seekers a chance to discuss any negative content that is associated with their name, whether it includes social media, images, or blog posts. Therefore, if you are currently seeking a job, you need to look good off-line and online.

One Way to Look Good Online

That means at least one of the top five results, during an Internet search, should relate to your career interests. LinkedIn, for instance maintains a high standing in the search results for Google. Therefore, maintaining a comprehensive LinkedIn profile helps substantially.

Also, use your profiles on social media sites to showcase your professional expertise and strengths, so you can demonstrate that you are, indeed, the best candidate for the job. Everyone has interests that extend past their professional pursuits, so you can also cast a positive glow on your hobbies. Freely post your accomplishments, or your interests outside of work, such as triathlon competitions or fund-raising activities.

Building a Positive Online Reputation

To underscore your interests and knowledge online, sign up on such sites as Quora. The platform enables you to build a positive reputation online by answering questions related to your professional background. You can also highlight your personal pursuits by answering questions about places you would like to see, or about the locale where you live.

With the privacy settings continually changing on social sites, such as Facebook, you need to carefully scrutinize what you share on social media channels. When you are in doubt, it is better to refrain from saying something questionable online. If a chance exists that your connects might post unflattering remarks about you on the Internet, examine the privacy setting for approving content first.

Also, you don’t want a potential employer to discover negative information about you that shows your name but is not actually you. To ensure this does not happen, use your professional designation, such as “CPA,” or include your middle initial. Better yet, include your professional designation and middle initial, if possible.

Focus on the Positive

Because recruiters pay close attention to the social media profiles of jobs seekers, it is essential that you exert a positive influence in this area. Today, social media profiles are the extensions of a resume. Therefore, they should help, not damage, your opportunities in the employment mart.

If you do find damaging information on the Internet, you may want to hire a service to clean up the data. However, these types “clean-up” firms are expensive. Reputation management companies charge thousands of dollars annually for damage control and online content management.

Perform an Assessment

To determine how your reputation fares overall online, you can take an inventory about your personal details by performing an assessment.

Conduct a self-audit by doing the following:

  • Evaluate you social networking profiles. Make sure you have not posted any comments or images that might offend a prospective employer. Are you a member of any groups that may not be construed in the best light?
  • Perform an inventory of your personal blog or website. Have you written anything on these sites that may cause an employer to reconsider hiring you?
  • Google yourself. Google your name as well as conduct a search on other search engines online. Is there any potentially damaging content? If so, you may need to contact the sites where you find the material, and ask to have it removed.

All in all, you should have the type of online reputation that would pass the test with your grandmother. Just make sure you don’t have any info or images that will cause an employer to pause and reconsider a hiring decision.

About the Author

Shaun Enders is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Transition Staffing Group located in San Diego. Shaun is extremely passionate about recruiting and developing others to bring out the best version of themselves.


Image –

Flickr – Creative Commons


Katharine Parker