"Brand management" and "reputation management." Whenever we hear these terms, we're probably thinking about businesses that want to protect their brand images or businesses that need to clean up some mess regarding their brands. However, according to the team at Brand.com, reviews of individuals are just as important as reviews of businesses.
Do Job Seekers have a "brand" they need to protect?
The short answer you're probably not expecting: YES!
Even if you're not actively building a brand online, you still have one. And if you're not controlling what prospective employers can see about you online, you'll only make sure they're seeing what you don't want them to see.
According to Brand.com, reviews of current hiring practices have revealed that job seekers have a brand to protect online and that employees now consider this as well as how it can reflect on their business before hiring anyone. Here are some studies on this subject:
Study #1: A December 2009 Study by Microsoft
The first study comes from Microsoft and it surveys 1,200 hiring managers and recruiters. Here are key findings:
1. "In the United States and U.K., recruiters and HR professionals surveyed are likely to research candidate behavior online and report markedly high rates of candidate rejections based on their findings. Comparatively, only 7% of U.S. consumers surveyed believe information about them online affected their job search."
According to the study referenced above, in the U.S., 70% of recruiters use information they find online when hiring a candidate. Surprisingly, only 7% of candidates believe information about them online affect their chances of being hired.
2. Positive online reputations matter. Among U.S. recruiters and HR professionals surveyed, 85% say that positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions at least to some extent. Nearly half say that a strong online reputation influences their decisions to a great extent.
In other words, having a strong online reputation can increase your chances of being hired by up to 85%; if this study is any indication, your online reputation will definitely influence your chances of being hired by up to 50%.
This second study was conducted in 2011 by Reppler and it surveyed 300 people who were involved in the hiring process of their company to find out how they take into account the social media activity of their prospective hires.
Here are some key findings:
91% of recruiters use social media sites to screen prospective employees
69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate solely because of what they see on the candidate’s social media profile
47% of employers screen social media profiles of candidates right after they receive their application
76% of recruiters screen Facebook, 53% of recruiters screen Twitter and 48% of recruiters screen LinkedIn during the hiring process of a prospective employee
Why Your Online Reputation Matters
If we carefully analyze the findings of the above two studies, we can see how similar they are even though they were conducted by different companies, years apart.
One thing is very clear, your online reputation matters when you're looking for a job. Even though you might not be conscious of it, you have an online brand and it's important to protect your brand to increase your chances of being hired.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your brand online and increase your chances of getting hired:
1. Be honest about your qualifications: According to the Reppler study mentioned above, the number one reason companies reject a candidate is because of dishonesty about their qualifications; when an employer finds different qualifications on social media compared to what you have on your resume, you'll be decreasing your chances of being hired.
2. Avoid Posting Inappropriate Comments/Media: This is another major reason why recruiters disqualify candidates. When they analyze your social profiles and see instances of inappropriate comments or media, you're more likely to be rejected than hired.
3. Avoid Posting About You Drinking/Doing Drugs: This is another main reason recruiters reject candidates. As noted by Brand.com, reviews of personal behavior play a huge role in the hiring process. When your social media profiles is loaded with pictures or posts of you drinking or doing drugs, you're only communicating that you're irresponsible and this, to recruiters, is a signal not to hire you.
4. Improve Your Communication Skills: Communication skills are another factor recruiters use to determine which candidate to hire; if you can prove you can communicate better on social media sites, you'll be significantly increasing your chances of getting hired.
5. Create a Website: To increase your chances of being hired, you can create a website or start a blog; not only does this signal to prospective employers that you understand how the internet works but it also shows that you are familiar with the growing social media landscape.
Whether you like it or not, you are who the internet says you are, notes the team at Brand.com. Reviews of individuals are just as influential as reviews of businesses. Protect your online reputation and doors will open.
This post is courtesy of Brand.com.