Why Your Online Reputation Matters in Your Job Search

online reputation

Do you know what your online reputation is? If you don’t, it could be hurting your job search. Nowadays, many employers rely on Google and social media searches to do free background checks on candidates.

The sum of your social media and online presence constitutes what many career experts today call your “online reputation.” Paying attention to what shows up when employers Google your name is essential for job seekers today.

If employers find negative information related to your name, they may not call you in for an interview. Nearly 70% of employers told CareerBuilder in a recent survey they’ve found content that caused them not to hire a candidate.

So, what can job seekers do about it? The first step is to know what your online reputation is. Keeping tabs on your reputation is crucial, and so is learning ways to keep it clean and professional.

Empire Resume will tell you how to manage your online reputation, ways to make it better, and how you can turn it into an asset.

What’s your ‘Google Resume’?

It’s evident to most job seekers that employers will check their LinkedIn profile and other social media profiles. Having a great LinkedIn profile and a strong, professional social media presence is vital.

However, some job seekers may forget that employers also take online research of candidates a step further. After receiving your resume, many recruiters and hiring managers will also Google your name.

Career experts say the search results of your name make up your “Google resume.” We all have one, and they’re becoming ever more important in the business world. If your search results are good, it could catapult you into a new job. But if they’re negative, you may not even get an interview.

The first step to managing your online reputation is to know what your Google resume is. Most of us have Googled our own names, but probably not correctly. When you Google yourself while logged into your Google account, you’ll get personalized search results.

To get a more accurate version of your Google resume, log out of your Google account. Then open a private browsing window, like Incognito in Google Chrome. The search results you’ll get will be more like what an employer will see.

Look closely at the first three pages of the results. Some hiring managers may not go that far in the results, but you’re better safe than sorry. Plus, the search result page rankings can change over time based on the popularity of the pages.

Improving Your Online Reputation

online reputation

Now that you know your Google resume, take steps to improve it. A common problem is someone else with your name shows up prominently in the results. This can lead to a case of mistaken identity, which we’ll discuss later.

Before addressing mistaken identity, focus on things you can do to improve your Google resume. Your LinkedIn profile will probably rank high in the results, which is good. Other social media accounts may also rank high, which is another reason why being professional on social media is essential.

One common problem for job seekers is lack of visibility in search engine results. Nearly half of employers said in a CareerBuilder survey they’d be less likely to call a candidate in for an interview if they couldn’t find him or her online.

A lack of visibility in search results signals to many employers you’re out of date with the business world or you’re hiding something. There’s also the possibility of damaging information showing up. Luckily, there are things you can do that’ll put more positive information about you higher up in the results, thereby crowding out harmful content.

One smart way to do this is to buy a branded domain and create a professional website for yourself. Use the site to showcase your educational and professional achievements, such as posting your resume, portfolio, and links to social media accounts (especially LinkedIn).

Your website will likely rank high in search results because the algorithms will see it as highly relevant to you. If possible, add a blog to your site. Write blog articles that show your thought leadership in your industry. These articles will also rank highly in search results, especially if they’re more than 800 words.

Also, consider creating an account and being active on a site like Quora. The questions and answers rank very high on Google, giving you a chance to show off your professional expertise.

Avoiding Mistaken Identity

In most cases, someone else with your name will show up in your Google results. This can be bad for several reasons, including the person having an unprofessional image or being unqualified for the job you’re seeking.

Career experts call this mistaken identity in online reputation management. Most employers may not put in enough time and effort to differentiate you from the other person. As a result, it’s critical that you choose the best version of your name for professional purposes.

Doing this is easier than you may think. Choose the best version of your name and then use it consistently online. You could do this by using your middle initial, using your maiden name as a middle initial, or changing the version of your first name. Either way, it’ll help you carve out a unique online identity that’s all yours.

Whatever method you choose, be consistent with using the name version. Use the name on social media, your resume, your website, and other online and professional activities. This is one of the easiest and most important ways to maintain an excellent online reputation.

Online Reputation Has Become More Important

online reputation

Today’s job market is becoming increasingly digital, and hiring managers rely on Google searches and social media to do background checks more than they used to. Therefore, your online reputation and Google resume is crucial for your job search prospects.

Managing your online reputation is not as difficult as it seems. A strong LinkedIn profile will rank high on your Google resume, but you should take steps to go further. Creating your own professional website and having an active and professional presence on social media will help.

Empire Resume can help bolster your online reputation by writing you a stellar LinkedIn profile. Our experts can also write you a resume that’ll land you an interview for your dream job. Contact us today at 801-690-4085 or at info@empireresume.com.

Stay tuned to Empire Resume’s blog for everything you need to know about today’s rapidly changing job market, including resume writing tips, advice for cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, and much more.

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