As a graduate of Princeton University Class of 1999, the idea of reputation management had not been conceived. The idea classmates graduating would worry about reputation management for students getting jobs was the farthest things in our minds. Those late night keg stand pictures from Tiger Inn (Princeton’s Animal House), could never hurt my chances of getting employment. In fact, going through my pictures, I now see some of the most successful people from my class doing some crazy things (You know who you are). An understanding of Reputation Management for Students Getting Jobs and our online image had zero consequence to our long term financial goals.
Reputation Management for Students Getting Jobs
All I can say is, I am so lucky that I am not Class of 2015. (For those of you who knew me then I think you understand what I am saying.) Today’s college graduates live in a very different word where Reputation Management for Students Getting Jobs is critical. A study by Reppler in 2011 paints the picture. According to an article in Mashable, ” … more than 90% of recruiters and hiring managers have visited a potential candidate’s profile on a social network as part of the screening process. And a whopping 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on content found on his or her social networking profiles — an almost equal proportion of recruiters (68%), though, have hired a candidate based on his or her presence on those networks.” That was four years ago, can you imagine now? An analysis of how reputation Management for Students Getting Jobs effects the process of getting hired is stunning.
The consequences related to those pictures are now different. Reputation Management for Students Getting Jobs is a central part of your ability to have new opportunities. The blog articles written, the posts on friends news feed, and the photos taken late at night create an online ‘finger print’ of who a potential candidate appears to be. That image, no matter how accurate, now can change your life. Much of that private content will now last a lifetime. Those lapses of judgement are no longer forgotten with time: they are preserved online forever.
Now that being said, there are always two sides to this coin. If you do not have to react to negative information online, that image can be flawless. Just look up Hersh Davis-Nitzberg online and you will understand what I am saying. What you appear to be online is the way the public understands who you are and knowing that information can lead to amazing opportunities. Fact is, whether you like it or not, your ‘brand’ is now an extension of your online image.
To illustrate my point, I am going to use an example of a client looking for his next step in his carrier. He is not a college student trying to get a job rather a respected business man looking to make a move from CFO to a CEO of a very large firm. We will call him “Mr. Square” for the sake of anonymity and because I really like the way it sounds. Mr. Square is a brilliant business man who’s firm I have represented through some issues over the years. Having helped build his current company into a hundred million dollar empire, Mr. Square seemed to have it all. He had the credentials, the experience, the JDMBA, the publicity in major magazines, and the respect of his current company.
There was only one problem, four years ago, in an unknown chat room on a major sports magazine’s website, he made some off handed comments late at night that taken out of context seem inappropriate. I have worked with Mr. Square for a number of years, so I have developed a personal relationship over time and all I can say is that Mr. Square is no way an inappropriate person, in fact he is about as professional (or square) as one can get. The story ends as you expect for a reputation repair consultant to tell: as I have been told the excuse given to Mr. Square was the committee looking to fill the job had two final candidates in mind and that post was enough of a red flag to eliminate Mr. Square as a candidate.
First off, your online reputation matters, if you do have damaging information about you recognize it, address the issue proactively and take the steps necessary to suppress this negative information. That could be as simple as removing the tags that have connected you to certain pictures, or removing references or affiliations that may affect your employment status.
Finally, you should begin building up positive exposure. For a college student, this could mean joining sites like LinkedIn or becoming affiliated with professional organizations through Twitter. You can also begin posting opinions or answering questions on sites like Quora. It might be smart to consider writing a blog, submitting them to local newspapers or even better your college website. Whatever method you decide to use, make sure that it is one that will present you in a positive and professional light.
In building up your professional image, you will will have a better chance of landing that job that you have been eyeing throughout your college career and interestingly enough your experience will make you better prepared to enter the workforce. Often times a trait that employers look for the most is discretion: someone who will be able to keep the reputation and the image of their company intact. By portraying through social media that you can be responsible and professional, this is something your online resume points to. Conversely, if you display that you have a poor sense of judgment when it comes to posting online things that you do, the hiring company may fear that this lack of judgment will follow you into the workplace as well.
There are a few things that you can do to help keep your private life private, but you should remember that anything that is posted online is never truly private. Unless you want to hire a firm like ours, take the steps necessary to protect your reputation and fix any of the potential issues in advance. Even with strict privacy controls, keep in mind that the people with whom you share your pictures and posts, can easily share these items with their friends and acquaintances as well. It is best to be cautious, even when you are posting information to a private group. When thinking about Reputation Management for Students Getting Jobs make it one of your primary concerns. In fact, while speaking at a major University, I had a President of the University say to me that it is almost as important as the students grades. Personally, I think it is more important, but I do have a bias.
I am always surprised at the reactions I get from students after my lecture series. It is important to consider the impact that the things you are posting on social media now will have when you are looking for a job in the future. As time passes, employers will begin to rely even more on the information they find online and we need to be vigilant in realizing that our social interaction may be affecting your online reputation making it that much harder to get that job.