Online Reputation Management is a Powerful Tool For Job Seekers
In the minds of many executives and economists, our economy is showing glimmers of hope. With this hope comes the reality that unemployment is historically a lagging indicator. This means that many will still be subject to layoffs, or find themselves looking for work, throughout the recovery phase.
Fortunately, today’s job seekers have access to unprecedented digital tools and strategies to help with their search.
TopRank® Online Marketing was recently featured in a US News & World Report article titled, How to Get a Job Using a Company’s Online Reputation Management (ORM). The article offers a unique twist on advice commonly provided to job seekers courtesy of Lee Odden, CEO at TopRank.
Job seekers are frequently advised to dutifully manage their personal reputation online. Today’s embarrassing Facebook photo could transform into tomorrow’s polite decline from a dream employer. The same online tools companies use to check in on job seekers are available to candidates throughout the application and interview phase.
Job seekers should include in cover letters, and be prepared to discuss in interviews, how they are the best candidate to the fix problems experienced by their target company.
“Generally, these glassy-eyed job seekers have three questions,” writes article author GL Hoffman.
- How do I know now what problems they have?
- What do I know about fixing a problem?
- What if I am wrong?
“Using Lee’s methods to monitor a company, (i.e. Setting up Google and Yahoo alerts, RSS feeds and social media via tags) you can discover all sorts of problems or issues,” Hoffman continues. “Some of what you will find are simply rants by unruly customers, but others will give you a very clear picture of the topics that people inside the company SHOULD be discussing and working on.”
The final secret shared by Hoffman is that being on the mark with a proposed solution is incidental to proposing a solution in the first place. It is the truly remarkable candidate who identifies problems, and proposes solutions, while still in the application or interview phase. Online Reputation Managment ensures any everyday applicant can easily transform into a remarkable candidate.
When it comes to managing their own online personas, TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog offers the following sage advice for individuals online reputation management:
What can a person who’s not savvy in the ways of SEO, social media and online public relations do to make sure they are represented positively and at least accurately online?
- Be smart about what you allow strangers to see on your Facebook and MySpace profiles or blogs. There’s a reason you have a network of friends and why some people are in it and the rest of the world is not.
- Create business profiles on social networks like LinkedIn as well as niche social communities according to your interest such as YouTube, Flickr, Digg or any of the other many social media sharing and news web sites. Use the User Name Check service to see if your name has already been registered at over 50 such services.
- Start a blog. Register your own domain name and use the Blogger.com service to host the blog itself. The domain name costs $10/year and the Blogger.com service is free. You could also spend just a little more and use WordPress.org software on your own hosting account.
- Register a domain that uses your own name. This is important so your dopleganger doesn’t get it 🙂 and also because the likelihood of others linking to it will use your name as anchor text. Use the blog to cross link to your social profiles and embed any videos, audio or images – even your resume – that you would like people to find.
- Find the good stuff that’s already out there about you that might not yet be ranking on the first page and get links to that content. Cross linking between profiles is one way to do this, but promoting your interests and even content that you’ve created online with links to the pages that represent your accomplishments can also work well. A few social bookmarks on anything that presents you accurately and positively isn’t a bad idea either.
There are many more things an individual can do to improve their online reputation but the important thing to remember is that whatever gets put online, is pretty much forever. Whatever the situation, there are many individuals that would do well to make an effort to take control of how they’re represented online before undesirable information gets published. It may sound like a lot of effort, but spread over time, it’s not difficult or time consuming and networking/making friends is a good thing. Plus it’s a lot better than being put into a reactionary situation and starting from scratch.
TopRank® Online Marketing provides Fortune 1000 companies holistic Internet Marketing services, including search engine optimization, online public relations and business blog consulting.