The thing is, these days employers are looking at much more than your résumé and your references. They are doing Google searches on you and eyeing your Facebook page to find whatever they can before taking you on. So not only can they find out the good stuff, but maybe something you’d rather them not know.
The bottom line is that your online reputation can say a whole lot about you, including your work ethic. What can you do to keep it clean?
Watch Your Social Media Posts
One of the first places your prospective employer may look is your Facebook page. Yikes! Do you want them seeing everything you’ve posted there? If not, clean it up. And for future reference, watch what you say. Remember, once it’s out there, it’s out there. So if you need to take a day off to find a great new outfit for a date or you needed to go in late to recoup from your late night before, you don’t need to post about it. That’s not going to demonstrate a great work ethic.
The flip side, though, can work to your benefit. If you’ve stayed up late perfecting your latest project or helped a buddy at work finish his part, post about that. There’s no reason not to shine when you can.
If you have a blog, don’t post about how often you switch jobs or that you hate your current one. Speak professionally about yourself, and when anyone does a search on you, they will be impressed with your strong work ethic.
Remember your tweets and other social posts, and use the same good judgment. They can say much more about you than those concrete 140 characters.
Keep an Eye on Anything Else Online About Yourself
You may not be the only one writing about yourself online. Maybe you made someone mad in the office (whether personally or professionally) and they’ve decided to get back at you for it. Anyone can write/post/publish online, and it’s up to you to see it before a prospective employer does. It can be harmful to your work ethic when you didn’t even do anything.
The best thing is to know everything out there and be able to address it if it does come up. Have an answer, an explanation, and a resolution at the ready.
What Else Can You Do for a Reputation that Speaks Highly of Your Work Ethic?
You can watch your own posts and watch what others say about you. Remember, employers will look, and not only into your professional life, but also into your personal. So don’t be afraid to show what your work ethic is like. If it’s gotten out of hand online and you don’t feel comfortable fixing it, you can always hire an online reputation management company to help out. Remember, you do need to know what is out there.
You’ve worked hard in your professional life and you want your online reputation to convey that strong work ethic to your prospective employers. Don’t take a chance and mess it up!
Heather Legg is a freelance writer who writes on a plethora of topics and has spent time writing resumes for a variety of fields, as well as dabbling in fiction. She lives in Atlanta, and you can find her on Twitter @writeygirl.
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