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Employers Investigate Online Reputations

Online reputation management is vital not only for social concerns but possible professional reasons as well. Microsoft recently released a study that found 7 out of 10 businesses admit to having rejected applicants based on information found online. Not surprisingly, the biggest culprit in creating a negative online reputation is

social media


When sharing is overbearing

Obnoxious, arrogant and snide remarks on Facebook and other

social media

platforms can hurt an

online reputation

. Even if in a supposedly private area of the Internet, these statements can be captured via share, copy and paste, or as a screenshot, where a potential employer may misinterpret or downright disagree with the comments. Employment may be denied citing moral questionability.

Employers may also look for the number of times a user posts status updates, photos or videos throughout the day. Frequent posts are a good gauge of how much time the applicant spends online versus working.

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Look at this photograph

Look at this photograph
In one of their most popular songs, Nickelback reflects on the past. The singer hints at photographs having been taken after using drugs and during criminal activity. Employers will similarly search the virtual historic records of employee candidates for past indiscretions. Of course, for the sake of a positive reputation—both online and off—it’s best to avoid salacious activity in the first place, especially if there’s a camera anywhere nearby.

Likes may be unlucky

Remember that the operative word in live tweeting is ‘live’. Too many people just offer updates and not the full live experience. The live experience should be everything from quotes, images, live commentary and video shares. It’s the little bit extra that will turn you into a force in the live tweeting arena.

Separation of self and self

Like church and state, personal and professional shouldn’t mingle. Many in the

online reputation

industry suggest that business people create separate accounts on social networking sites for their personal and professional selves. The same experts say one’s personal profile should be set to the highest possible privacy setting. Any potentially controversial private opinions stay just that—private. And keeping a personal profile as private as possible may reduce the probability for a scorned coworker, ex-love interest, or even business rival to wreak havoc on one’s

online reputation


Resurrect a reputation

Resurrect a reputation
There are a number of ways to implement an

online reputation

management and repair plan. In the case of photographs or unsavory status updates, the person who posted them may be persuaded to pull them from the Internet. Sometimes site administrators may be willing to remove the material if it violates the site’s terms of service. Online reputation management experts say not to rebut any

negative information

online as it will only serve to strengthen the original accusation.

Fixing a marred

online reputation

is not for the faint of heart. It requires diligent action and spending a great deal of time online, time that may be taken away from everyday life. If information found online is damaging to the point of job denial, it may be time to contact an industry authority that can replace the

negative information

with positive and truthful content.

Blake Jonathan Boldt is a content strategist for Reputation Advocate. He provides writing, editing,

social media

and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and digital media outlets.

Reputation Advocate offers

online reputation

services including monitoring and

online reputation

management. The company specializes in helping individuals, corporate professionals, and business owners suppress negative search results by overshadowing incorrect or slanderous information. Reputation Advocate was founded in 2006 and continues to be a leader in the

online reputation

management field.

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