How Clean Is Your Online Reputation?

According to the Huffington Post, 70 percent of employers admitted to searching potential employees’ online profiles before being interviewed.

The candidates who posted inappropriate pictures, drug and alcohol use, derogatory comments, and poor grammar or spelling errors on their profiles were rejected by employers because of the impression they gave online, according to the Texas Tech IT Division event supervisor Britta Tye.

Tye held informative sessions about online reputation during October for Cyber Awareness month. The sessions were for students and faculty to gain knowledge of what you should and should not do online.

When you are posting today, think about how it will affect your future because first impressions are no longer made face-to-face due to social networking, Tye said.

With Facebook reaching one billion active users in October, one in every seven people on the planet are capable of seeing what is posted online, Tye said.

The IT division at Tech is encouraging online users to strive for honor online by thinking about the “you” that is out there for the world to see, Tye said.

“You are not Katy Perry, the pictures that you uploaded from last Friday night, it’s not ‘oh well’ – its trouble,” Tye said.

Only 44 percent of online users think about reputation consequences, and only 38 percent think about how their activities affect others, Tye said.

Eight actions to not do online, according to Tye:

  1. Post-illegal activities.
  2. Post negative comments about your teachers, bosses, colleagues or companies.
  3. Post-confidential information.
  4. Lie.
  5. Threaten violence.
  6. Rely 100 percent on privacy settings.
  7. Post emotionally.
  8. Create an unprofessional or irresponsible profile.

Texas Tech graduate student, Lindsey Hedtke said she is looking forward to working with the KPMG accounting firm after graduation. Hedtke said since she has a job lined up it is important to maintain a clean online reputation.

“Especially since I’m working in public accounting, you can get your CPA removed or revoked from having a bad reputation,” Hedtke said.

Hedtke said college students have a tendency to not think about what they are posting online, but should be careful considering there could be someone who is looking for a reason not to hire an employee candidate.

“You just want to keep yourself looking good and not just for a job, but for your personal integrity,” Hedtke said.

Although online users cannot control everything posted on their profile, before it is deleted somebody out there will see it, Tye said. It only takes a matter of seconds to earn a bad reputation.

Those who are unsure about their online reputation can visit and check their online status, Tye said. The site lets users see what may be questionable about them online and how to manage a clean reputation.

“The best advice for anybody, whether that’s applying for a job or applying for graduate school, just think about what you post before you post it,” Tye said.


by Corley Peel
Contributed to The Hub by Jour 3312


About Corley Peel
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