Online Reputation Management: The Difference Between “Hired” and “Fired” | Blog

“Reputation is the opinion (more technically, a social evaluation) of a group of entities toward a person, a group of people, or an organization on a certain criterion.”

(I’m sure my English teacher is rolling over in her grave seeing me source Wikipedia here).

Your reputation is one of your most valuable assets, and you should manage it with the same care as your bank account, since it can directly affect what you get to put into that account.  Reputation management is controlling what others think of you, and online reputation management is controlling how your real life extends online.

First off, get past thinking the internet is private or anonymous.  Facebook is currently facing immense backlash due to their new privacy policies, but in reality, Facebook was never truly “private”–just well-enough protected to keep the casual snooper out.  My mother used to tell me that if I couldn’t say something nice, I shouldn’t say anything at all.  Of course, she also told me that if I kept making faces like that, it would freeze that way.  She was right about both.

Bottom line: you need to treat the internet like everything can be seen by anybody.  Diamonds may not be forever, but the Internet sure is.

So, what should you do?

Clean up your internet presence.  Do it now. And keep it clean. Seriously, go make your Facebook, MySpace, etc. appropriate for your mother’s eyes.  Actually, to be safe, let’s make it something MY mom would be all right reading (I’m just saying, I’ve met some pretty foul-mouthed moms).  It’s important that you do this soon, because there are sites that preserve webpages at various snapshots in time.  Also, you never know who is looking at your profile or what they are saving.

Once you clean it up, keep it that way. Just because you got the job doesn’t put your online presence under any less of a microscope.  See above picture for reference.  You’re looking to build your online reputation, not trash it with “I hate my job” posts.  Nobody looking for a job should be acting like a 13-year-old on a temper-tantrum.

Make the Internet work for you. Once you’ve cleaned things up, sell the positive reputation that you’ve built up! Most people’s online reputation concerns end with eliminating negative content about them. That’s only half the battle, and it’s surely not a selling point–like sitting in a job interview and trying to wow the employers with the fact that you’ve never gotten any felonies.

You know that you’re going to get checked out online, so take advantage of it!  You probably didn’t have time to show them everything in the interview, so use your web presence to help bring the picture of who you are to life.

Reputation is something you build, not something you pick up from the store. It starts with a first impression, and gets better or worse from there.  If you’re web-savvy, you have a pretty good idea of how to build your own website and hook in all kinds of content, but if not, take advantage of some of the tools at your disposal.

Online reputation management isn’t complex; it’s just deciding how you want others to see you and using the Internet to help make that happen.

One last thing: save the gripe sessions for the bar. You’re allowed to vent, just don’t do it with a megaphone.

Posted via web from AndyWergedal