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Is your Online Reputation Affecting your Job Search?

2022-05-24 20:34:19

Most recruiters will run an online search for your name. Will they be impressed with what pops up? 


First comes the resume, second, an online search for the job applicant’s name. Most recruiters run an online search for the candidate’s name, the results of which creates the first impression of the job seeker. The social media profiles, websites, LinkedIn and other professional profiles, details about the past jobs and education are most likely to pop up with the search. These could be enough for the recruiter to decide whether or not, to respond to the applicant.


Online reputation

Online reputation or the online image of an individual is a sum of all the activities of a person on the Internet. From social media updates, images on Flickr, Instagram, to reviews or mentions about the person by other people, every single detail about the candidate’s background online, forms the online reputation.


Effects of online reputation 

A survey by Career Builder showed that 50% of the recruiters decline applicants based on their social media profiles. A staggering number, isn’t it? On the other hand, recruiters who ended up hiring people because of their impressive social media profiles based their decisions on the following: communication skills (37 percent), a professional image (36 percent), background information supported by professional qualifications (38 percent) and creativity (35 percent). (Source:


Recruiters know a lot more about candidates

Running a check on the online reputation of a jobseeker has a number of benefits: it works for both, hiring within the country and international hiring, companies can avoid dangers of bad hiring to some extent, it is helpful in the initial screening process for hiring and is a quicker way of knowing more about the candidate. Most importantly, it could reveal information about a candidate that recruiters would not find in the resumes. 


HR processes

A report by Microsoft revealed that 64% of HR managers think it is an apt way to run a quick check on a candidate, and 41% said that they rejected candidates as a result of their online image. Other than checking the online reputation, recruiters go through a number of processes to be sure about whom they are hiring. Background verification professionally conducted by agencies such as FactSuite is one of the most suitable and widely known processes that recruiters follow. Background verifications, too, include online reputation checking.


Positive online image of job seekers

While recruiters are following their processes verifying backgrounds and identities, job seekers too, have some work to do. In an article in Forbes, Susan P Joyce, an online job search expert, shares five fundamental activities for cultivating a positive online footprint. (Forbes, May 2017)


  • One must understand that all the online activities are visible, observed, recorded and stored for years to come. Something done a decade ago could also affect your future.


  • Work towards creating a positive visibility by using effective tools and platforms. Platforms for professional visibility such as LinkedIn are important spaces for a positive image.


  • Use the same name consistently on all platforms and for all purposes. Make sure your email too has the same name and so do all your social media profiles.


  • Use your best keywords. Just like SEO, keywords are important in your various online mentions, profiles and activities. Make sure that the keywords are current, not outdated.


  • Know what Google is showing about you. It is best to know what will be found when a recruiter runs a search for your name. If possible you could try to change it or figure out ways to highlight or hide certain undesirable information.


According to CareerBuilder, some of the content that could be problematic for recruiters is: inappropriate photographs or videos, drugs and alcohol usage, posting discriminatory comments related to gender, race, religion, bad-mouthing the previous employer or company or ex-colleagues. 


It is quite clear that the Internet is playing a big role in the highly connected world of the job market. Whether it is posting jobs, sharing professional profiles, looking for jobs or recruiters hunting down the right job seeker, online reputation plays a big part. Information related to - Education verification, employment verification, address verifications, criminal records history, and professional references - each component of background screening of a potential candidate is available online. Is your information genuine and impressive at the same time?


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