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5 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile?
That’s right. It’s probably been ages since your most recent visit.
Knowing how to make a resume that grabs the attention of recruiters isn’t enough to land you a dream job these days. Your resume will probably compete against 250 applications on average if you apply for a job in a larger company.
And you can bet that other candidates polished their online presence before sending their resumes.
According to a survey from Robert Walters, more than a half of job seekers revamp their online profiles with prospective employers in mind. That’s why curating your online reputation is key to landing your dream job.
Here are 5 tips to help you take control of your online image and make a great impression on recruiters who check up on you online.

How to Improve Your Online Reputation

1. Have a Look at Google Search Results First

After reading your resume, a hiring manager is likely to search for your name on Google. That’s why you need to make sure they don’t find any results that put you in a bad light.
But before typing your name into Google, remember to log out of your account. Google personalizes search results on the basis of your account activity, so it makes sense that you look yourself up when you aren’t logged in.
Browse through the first few pages of the search results. If you spot content that might damage your online reputation, don’t worry. You can easily remove it. Head over here to ask Google to eliminate this information from its search results.
Don’t forget to have a look at Google Images. If you see an image that might affect your online reputation, have a look here to learn how to remove it.
To be on the safe side, check alternative search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo. All these platforms provide users with procedures for submitting takedown requests for non-legal reasons.

2. Now Turn to Social Media

In 2015, 81 percent of organizations admitted using social media for recruitment purposes. Hiring managers are bound to check your social media profiles. That’s why you should first decide how much information you’re willing to share publicly.
Since social platforms often change their privacy settings, have a look at each network to check who can see your profile and posting history.
For Facebook, have a look at a section called “Privacy Settings” and pick the “Limit Past Post Visibility” option to hide all your social content. Double check the permission and settings of social media apps installed on your mobile devices. These often differ from desktop versions of social networks.
You might be tempted to set your profiles to private. If recruiters aren’t able to find any information about you aside from the data included in your resume, they’re not going to stumble upon anything that compromises your reputation. But limiting your visibility too much puts you at risk. The hiring manager might abandon the search altogether and move on to a candidate who has developed a strong online reputation by publicly sharing their online profiles.
[RELATED: How to Avoid Social Networking Mistakes]

3. Remove Damaging Social Media Content, Here’s How

If you opt for online visibility, you need to curate your social media posting history. Review your social profiles in detail. If you spot any content that might compromise your brand, just delete it. Hiding these potentially damaging posts or images is risky. Remember that other users might take screenshots and post this content publicly with your name tagged. When curating your social media profiles, leave content that adds to the professional image you’re building in your job application.

4. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Now that the web is cleared of content that could have a negative impact on your online reputation, you can focus on improving your professional image.
LinkedIn is key to developing a strong personal brand that emphasizes your professionalism. Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile frequently. Ask your supervisors and colleagues for recommendations and endorsements. They serve as social proof of your skills and qualifications.
And remember to return the favor. Write recommendations which are short, on point, and refer to projects you’ve shared. Show recruiters that you’re active in your industry by joining dedicated LinkedIn groups and participating actively in the online conversation. Another smart strategy is to leverage LinkedIn’s blogging platform to create content where you can share your expertise.

5. Demonstrate Your Skills Online

To put a finishing touch on your online reputation, make sure that recruiters can easily relate the professional persona captured in your resume to your online profiles. Create a coherent story and deliver on the promises you’ve made in your resume.
For example, if your resume represents you as a talented creative director, back this claim up with a sophisticated online portfolio that features your best work and some valuable client testimonials. If you produce visual content, it’s smart to host it on platforms like Vimeo, Flickr, or Picasa. That way, you can be sure that the hiring manager stumbles upon your content when researching your name on Google.

Key Takeaway

Your online reputation can either make or break your job hunt.
Follow these 5 tips to take control of your online reputation and create a personal brand that makes you a more attractive candidate on the job market.

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