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Can Bad Online Reputation Affect Your Employment and Career Opportunities? Tips for Personal Reputation Management

Updated on August 28, 2017
Anamika S profile image

Anamika S Jain is a Social Media Consultant who handles the FaceBook, Twitter and Blog of a top Bollywood Actress.

How Can Negative Online Reputation Affect Your Job Opportunities?

Believe it or not, a negative personal reputation online can be potentially injurious to your employment and career prospects. It has now become a standard practice of human resource professionals of companies to consider the online reputation of prospective employees before hiring them. You may say, ‘it's none of an employer's damn business what I do on social networking sites or outside workplace’. But the fact is that the business reputation of a company is linked with the personal reputation of its work force as they represent the company. So many companies make it a practice to monitor the actions of their employees outside work too.

With the advancement of technology, there are now more opportunities for communication, networking, and marketing. Though this is good in one way, it can be damaging too. The employees play a huge role in protecting their organization’s reputation online. Anything an employee may say or do on the internet can affect the reputation of the company. The negative personal comments made by the staff of the company or their embarrassing actions online can affect the business reputation of a company. For instance, will you be interested to work in a company having a negative reputation of not paying salaries to employees for months? It is a tendency of people to talk/See more of negatives than positives. Negative and controversial news can spread like wild fire through the medium of internet thereby ruining the reputation of companies. So employers prefer to be cautious when they choose their manpower. Apart from qualifications and experience, it is now a practice of major companies to look into the online behavior of their prospective employees. So it is essential to safeguard your personal reputation by being cautious of what you do or say on social networking sites like facebook and myspace if you do not want it to affect your employment and career opportunities.

Having said the above, let’s now look into what can be some potentially damaging behavior of candidates the employers may look into for rejecting them for jobs.

A Negative Online Reputation can affect your Employment and Career Opportunities.
A Negative Online Reputation can affect your Employment and Career Opportunities.

Reasons Why Employers May Reject You

Why should you be concerned about your personal online reputation? Gone are the days when a person could proudly say, ‘I am not bothered about what anyone may say or think about me’. With the amount of social networking and micro blogging sites capable of spreading news like wild fire, it is wise to be careful with your words and actions online and offline. Your Online Reputation can affect your Career Opportunities, so make it a point to ensure that people would see what you want them to see. While you may not be able to control what others may say about you in this internet era, it is possible to clean up things you have written or posted on the net.

Employers may screen applicants based on the publicly displayed information. The Personal Reputation of an Individual can play a role in determining whether they get hired or fired. Everything you do plays a vital role in determining your reputation. Given are some things an HR Professional may look into to reject an applicant.

  • Negative rants about former employers
  • Sharing confidential information about previous Company with others
  • Inappropriate Photos, news, videos, Forum Posts, Blog comments, emails etc.
  • Inadequate, outdated, inaccurate or misleading information
  • Negative reviews from old employers and colleagues.
  • Inappropriate comments by friends, family, and colleagues about the candidate
  • Concerns about lifestyle of the job applicant
  • Involvement in certain Groups/ Activities not approved by the Company Management.

Many people ruin their reputations without realizing it. One needs to be utmost cautious when conducting their life online. If you are not diligent, you may end up paying a very high price. However, the good news is that reputation repair and protection is possible.

How to Clean Up Your Online Reputation?

Why should you clean up your bad online reputation?There are many things which can give you a negative reputation. The first step is to find the offensive material and assess the damage. For instance, you could search your name using Google, MSN, and Yahoo and see what turns up in the first three pages of the results. Most people looking for information online do not go beyond the first three pages (Unless they are desperate) Of search. If you do not see anything troubling, then it’s fine. If you see anything in the search results which could be damaging to you, mark it for action. If you’ve been tagged in photos or posts that are embarrassing or controversial on social networking sites, remove the tags. If the damage can be undone, do it. If it is done by someone to malign you, take action. If you have knowledge of SEO and social media marketing, you could put efforts to push the negative content further down in the search results to safeguard your reputation. If you do not possess the skills to clean up the damage yourself, it’s worth to hire an ORM specialist to do it for you.

Remember, personal reputation is your most valuable online asset. It can make you or break you. So make sure you project yourself the way you want others to see you.

Did you find this article useful? Feel free to express your opinions on this hub through comments.

Personal Branding: Four Measures on Online Reputation

© 2012 Anamika S Jain


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