Managing Your Online Reputation


Image by Lapideo

Reputation management is the primary underlying goal of crisis communicating. I will take this opportunity to look at ways to manage your personal and professional reputation online, focusing on how to present yourself for potential employers.

Social media has become one of the most, if not the most, important aspects of communication in recent years. At any given moment a massive audience is able  to see content and messages you post.  So how do you know what is safe to post and what to leave out?

This infographic posted by CKsyme Media Group provides a roadmap for making a responsible decision with posting content on social media.

79 percent of job recruiters said they will look at a candidates online presence before hiring and 70 percent say they’ve rejected a candidate due to something they saw online. As a soon-to-be college graduate aspiring for a career in communications, I am constantly looking for information about how I can maintain an admirable reputation for myself on social media.

53 percent of employers said they’ve discarded candidates based on posting provocative or inappropriate pictures online. Guess I’ll have to think twice next time I want to show some skin on Facebook.

The infographic goes on to break down issues regarding drinking and drug use, posting about significant others, slandering coworkers, and posting suggestive song lyrics.

Personally, I struggle with understanding the extent to which I should “clean-up” social media sites. How far back do I have to go in this clean up process? For example, my Facebook activity is of sensible repute as of late. But go back far enough and I still have suggestive pictures from high school most of which involve drinking. I would prefer not to erase those memories from my profile, as they are part of who I am and my past. Will this content cause me to get nixed from a potential position, despite dating back several years? Allie Klein gives good insight into what images should be taken down or at least hidden in her article How to Clean up your Facebook Before You Apply for a Job or Internship, “Ask yourself if you would be comfortable sitting next to your boss as he/she looked at it. If the answer is no, delete.” Fair enough.

The pervasive final criteria for whether or not to post content; will anyone care? I find this to be the most difficult part of creating content. I am constantly piecing together an understanding of what will produce a response with peers on social media. The way I see it, the more information you take in and gaining an understanding of what other people are talking about is key in this search for creating interesting content.

As a quick segue to corporate or brand reputation I will refer to a piece of insight given to me on a recent conference call with TJ Kelly, the Vice President of Digital at Edelman San Francisco. He said that everything you/your company does in the past establishes reputation, everything you do going forward builds trust. This knowledge is especially important in managing the reputation of your company, but is also be useful to your own personal social media strategy.


2 thoughts on “Managing Your Online Reputation

  1. This is a great post! I love the personal insight you tie in from your own experiences with posting on social media because I think it is an issue that almost every student our age has to address. The way you present your opinions about this topic through your writing makes you seem very relatable, which makes for awesome blogs! I like how you tied in TJ Kelly’s advice. He gave us some great advice at the AHPR meeting and I think you made a great decision to tie it in with this blog post.

  2. This is so true and so creepy that this is how people are determining who will work for them. I really enjoy your quote, “Ask yourself if you would be comfortable sitting next to your boss as he/she looked at it. If the answer is no, delete.” I think that this is such a good base on what should be shown on personal social media sites. I don’t think people realized or thought that businesses would soon catch on to the fact that people were posting every drunken and stupid picture or thought on their mind. Now they hire people to look at people Facbook or Twitter to determine whether or not to hire them. So crazy. Great job! I’m sure I have some cleaning to do so thanks for the reminder.

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