Online reputation management for students is here to stay. Admission boards and employers together all search for your social media posts. What does the web say about YOU?
A new way of recruiting
Online reputation management for students? What? I haven’t even started work yet and already; I have to think of myself as a ‘Brand’?
Yes. We may not like it, but online reputation management (ORM) is a fact of life we need to embrace, and we need to embrace it NOW.
Why is it so important to us?
Anyone can be found online, and nothing, I repeat, nothing is hidden from even the most casual researcher. You may hope that nobody sees that video of you puking at your friend’s birthday or that inflammatory statement on that supposedly hidden forum but they can and they will.
Still not convinced? Here are 8 reasons that you need to clean up your reputation before starting work or applying for a University place.
1. 75% of HR departments are required to research a candidate online before making a hire
It is now a fact that you will be researched online by potential employers. To the employer, social media comments, posts and videos and images are as helpful as references. They sum you up in an erratic, but clear way.
University admission staff are even more likely to seek out what kind of student you are likely to be (and yes, I know people can change and ‘grow up’, but you do not have the luxury of an in-depth hearing about your social life).
The earlier you start to manage your ‘Brand’ the better your reputation will be.
2. 92% of employers utilize social media for their recruiting
This data does include their advertising of the position, but to think that HR departments in companies are not as Social Media savvy as young people is clearly wrong.
They know their way around, and in fact, some are experts at social media research, often coming from digital marketing backgrounds.
To paraphrase ‘Field Of Dreams’ … If you post it, they will come.
3. 45% of Fortune 500 firms now include links to social media on their application pages.
From the outset, you are asked to supply social media profile URLs. You had better think about cleaning up your tweets and rants.
Remember also that your friends and family posts are visible in your feed (if you do not have that turned off).
Make sure that you old, racist Uncle is not given ‘air time’ on YOUR feed. It will most certainly go against you even though you did not actually write it. Your clever put down in repose may never go read and the damage will already be done, so secure your profiles now.
4. One in every three employers has rejected a candidate for negative posts on social media.
Here is the proof that whatever you post can be used against you. Better get deleting and changing your preferences.
The top types of posts that will be construed as ‘negative’ are:
- Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos, etc
Nudity, sexual comments, sex videos. All of these will go against you (especially for women I hate to say).
- Related to drinking excessively or drug use
Even if your team had just won the Super Bowl, don’t share potentially damaging material online and remember to ask your friends to remove any videos of you in this situation from their profiles too.
- Discrimination in your comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.
You KNOW that post will haunt you. So, stop blaming others, grow up and clean up your act.
5. 48 percent of online U.S. users say their Google results aren’t favorable.
Now, we have already established that employers are searching for you so; this is a big worry for a sizeable chunk of the population in general. You as a student are no different.
Make sure that you are part of the 52% with positive results. Take the initiative with your online reputation management, the sooner the better.
6. Only 1 percent of users own the very first Google result about them.
Surely as a ‘Brand’, we need to be first for our own search term?
If you are not number one and you are not sure how to get to number one, hire an expert.
Make sure that they specialize in online reputation management for students. They will know which posts will be seen as just having a laugh and which are going to be held against you in your future career.
So get with the program and sort out your online reputation.
7. 15% of adults have at least one negative result in their name search
Now let’s put that into context, 15% will have a future employer see them in a negative light, and that person will have to explain the situation to a potential employer.
So, in other words, at their interview (if they get that far) those people will not spend their valuable time discussing their creative and innovative ideas, but rather, they will be explaining why they were ranting on a podcast, advocating the downfall of capitalism and the end of President X.
The realm of online recruitment and University admissions has quite clearly changed. Your online reputation is now as important as those good grades in an increasingly data driven hiring process.
How is YOUR online reputation?