Whether you are a freelance writer, a blogger, a cyber-assistant, or a web developer, if you are working primarily online, you may need to watch your online reputation more than the rest of the working world. From questionable Facebook pictures to heated Twitter feuds, nothing can ruin your employment chances like coming across as an undesirable employee online, and employers who are based online will look to online clues about the people they hire more than the traditional employer. Here are some good reasons to do as much damage control as possible before applying for an online position.
1. Online Records are Easy to Find
Any employer can do a simple Google search on any candidate he or she is considering to hire. The same goes for telecommuting and freelance jobs. Because it’s so easy to get information about people at lightning speed, you have to be aware of all the ways potential employers may view the information they will find about you online when it comes to getting a job. Try Googling yourself with an added fact, like your school name or hometown, and see what comes up. Then do a quick search by name on Twitter and Facebook. If unwanted information pops up automatically, try to have it taken down.
2. If You Say it Online, It’s Public Property
So, maybe you do a Google search and find some things that you don’t want a potential employer to see. And maybe you can, in fact, head to your Facebook page and change settings or politely ask a friend to take down the dated college party pictures. But, always keep in mind that, if something about you has been published online, it no longer belongs to you. You may be able to take down incriminating photos, but that hasn’t prevented people from saving them to personal computers, or from posting nasty comments with your name attached. Basically, online content belongs to anyone who chooses to hold onto it before it’s taken down. And, even then, your activity will stay logged by companies like Google or Twitter, even after you delete it.
3. Your Online Interactions Define Your Professional Image
If you want to present a professional image online, then you need to do more than create a personal a website or an account on LinkedIn. That is only one part of the content that will make up your professional online image. Any other information published about you online, like Facebook posts or tweets, will contribute just as much, if not more. To successfully craft your image, it needs to be consistent. This means that people may not want to hire an investment blogger who is also wildly tweeting about flash sales or gambling. Consider whether all available content about you online is projecting a consistently professional image that is relevant to your industry.
Author Bio: This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.