How Clean is Your Online Brand?

online brandI recently had a jobseeking client who was desperately struggling to find work – and she couldn’t understand why. She’d never really considered the powerful influence of social media on her personal branding. Social media is frequently reviewed by recruiters to get a real feel for job candidates, the digital dirt on what makes them tick and how they’re likely to fit into the workplace.

Fact: “One in five employers uses social networks in their hiring process: CareerBuilder.com says one third of hiring managers rejected candidates based on what they found.” (ComputerWorld.com)

Once I’d done a Google search of my client’s online identity, in particular her Facebook account, it was pretty clear why she wasn’t getting anywhere with her job applications. I’d recommend to any client undergoing or about to commence a jobseeking journey that they give something like the Online ID Calculator a go, to better understand the brand image they’re conveying online. There are very few people left in the world today that aren’t ‘Google-able’.

What tools like this tell us is that we all should be continually pausing and considering what we’re about to post online. Whether it’s a Facebook message about how our day’s been, an Instagram photo of a great time had on the weekend, and/or a potentially polarising article we’re about to share across our online portfolio. Everyone experiences interesting and/or particularly challenging times in their lives, and just about everyone has an opinion on contentious issues, but it doesn’t mean it should be voiced or shared over the internet.

Adding to this, just about everything we post ‘up there’ (except probably your own website) cannot be fully removed once we’ve hit ‘enter’. If you put it out there, and it’s not password protected, ‘they’ including recruiters and potential employers can find it.

Some social media sites even have written policies confirming that your content officially becomes theirs once it’s been posted. For example, Facebook has an “irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license” (http://tinyurl.com/3vsglm).

“Our social tools are not an improvement to modern society, they are a challenge to it.” (Clay Shirky, US author, consultant and professor)

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In addition to resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profile development and coaching, and job interview skills training, among other services, Sarah Cronin Consulting has access to the latest tools and research to help clients establish a positive online identity. Contact us if you’d like to discuss your needs further.

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