One of the biggest mistakes job hunters make is so simple it hurts: they assume that potential employers won’t do a web search on the candidates they interview.This assumption can destroy your chance at getting that job you want.

It is extremely simple for a potential employer to look up your name using a major search engine or on a social media page to see what kind of activity is associated with your name. Your online reputation and personal branding are important elements in getting the job you want. Here’s how you can protect and manage the way you present yourself online at all times.

Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

Those pictures on your social media page that were taken while you were partying on vacation last year are not going to cast a positive light on your ability to show a sense of responsibility. While it sometimes does not seem fair that your personal time is evaluated by potential employers, the truth is that employers want to see what kinds of activities you engage in when you are left to your own devices.If you are looking for a job that requires a high level of responsibility, then pictures of you at a drunken party are going to damage your reputation. You need to clean up your social media presence and give yourself a more professional look.

Instead of a goofy picture for your profile image, replace it with a picture taken by a professional photographer. What people see on the Internet affects what they think of you and that includes potential employers.

Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

Create Your Own Website

A website that you put together with good SEO strategies can, over time, become the first entry that shows up on a search engine results page for your name. Include all of the positive information about you and your work habits that you can, including your professional qualifications and personal branding.It may even be worth it to have the site and personal branding designed by a professional internet marketing team. Your online reputation could mean the difference between getting the job you want and remaining unemployed. That sort of influence would benefit from an investment in a professional marketing organization.

Get Others to Post Positive Testimonials About Your Work

The internet is a funny place; even the most obscure mention of your name could wind up at the top of search engine results for weeks. That is why, as part of your reputation management plan, you need to get the people you know to post positive statements about you. It could be that one of those positive statements shows up in the search results for a hiring manager who is looking for someone with your qualifications. A strong, positive comment could lead that hiring manager to seek out your contact information and bring you in for an interview.

Your personal branding on the web is the first thing potential employers will evaluate about you when you’re applying for a job. You never know who is searching for your name on the Internet, which is why you need to engage in reputation management constantly if you want to develop a positive profile.

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