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It is Time to Build Your Personal Online Reputation Your online presence can overshadow your resume's achievements if there is a negative result with your name on the web

By Ankush Mahajan

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The concept of online reputation is in trend for past 5 years, and from small businesses to large organizations, all are putting ample amount of time and money to build a positive online presence.

But have you ever thought that in today's world of digital media how important it is to build your personal online reputation. I know most of you would say I am not any company's CEO or manager, so it does not matter much what Google or social media show when somebody searches for my name. But is it really so? I would say no. Whether you are a student, job seeker or an executive in any company, it matters what shows up when someone Googles about you, what you share on social media, and your other online activities.

Your online presence can overshadow your resume's achievements if there is a negative result with your name on the web. Or in other words, I would say – Now, you need 2 character certificates to get a job; one from your school and one from Google.

Social Recruiting has grown 54% in past 5 years, and today about 60% employers use social networking sites and search engines to research about candidates' qualification and other personal information. Here are some of the top reasons that force employers not to hire candidates based on what they found online about them:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information – 46 percent
  • Information about candidate drinking or using drugs – 43 percent
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. – 33 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee – 31 percent
  • Poor communication skills – 29 percent

Source: Survey by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder

Apart from consolidating your chances of getting a job, here are few more reasons why you need to Build Your Online Reputation

  • In US & UK, many universities like to see candidates' online presence and reputation before admitting them
  • Your business partner can refuse to work with you, if you have poor online presence.
  • If you are applying for visa of any country, the immigration authority might refuse to grant visa if they find anything inappropriate when doing a background check on you online

How to Check Your Online Presence & Manage Online Reputation?

  • Do a Google search with your country-specific Google domain. Remember, if you are in the UK and checking the results at Google.com, you won't get the exact results.
  • Most employers won't bother to look beyond first page results. Yet you should still check results up to page 2, as negative results on page 2 can move up to page1 anytime.
  • Don't forget to turn off personalized results when you Google your name.
  • Make sure to check the Google images results as well, since negative images harm your online your presence equally.
  • Use tools like Mention, Trackur etc. to track social media mentions about you.

What are Some Easy Ways to Build Personal Reputation?

  • Start managing your social media profiles - Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc. because these sites rank high in search results.
  • Make profile on blogging sites, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. and update them once in a while.
  • Don't hesitate to buy a domain with your name.
  • As I said above, negative results can be in images also, so while sharing your images online, use your name in the Alt and Title Text.
  • If the negative results seem to be going out of your control, then it is better to hire an agency to push down the negative results.

Trust me, it's not easy to control your reputation in the digital world; so be proactive and don't wait for negative results to appear. Start managing your online reputation before any negative commotion happens related to your name. If you can't check all the time on Google, better to take help of tools like Google Alerts, Mention etc. to monitor your online presence in real time.

Ankush Mahajan

Digital marketer & e-commerce consultant at FATbit Technologies

Ankush works as a senior digital marketer and e-commerce consultant at FATbit Technologies, one of India’s leading custom web design/development & start-up friendly e-commerce solutions company. His expertise lies in branding and formulating marketing strategies for business of a number of industries. He has been active in online marketing services for past 5 years.

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