Twenty years ago, if you wanted to look up a person or a company, the chances are you’d turn to the yellow pages. To find out more about a job applicant, employers talked to friends and colleagues or contacted personal references. Not so today. The first place anyone goes for information is the internet, and there is a lot of it out there. A study from mobileinsurance.com found that the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their mobile phone, the equivalent of about 23 days every year. An average of 52 million photos are uploaded daily to Instagram, while Twitter sees about 500 million new tweets every day. Meanwhile, 3.5 billion Google searches sift through all that information.
If you’ve applied for any type of job lately, the chances are your name was one of those searches. 90 percent of executive recruiters regularly search the names of new applicants to find information beyond their CV, according to Execunet.com. 82 percent of these say finding positive information online will improve the candidate’s chances, especially results that show expertise or strong professional connections. Meanwhile, 50 percent admit they’ve rejected a candidate after finding negative information, things like a criminal record, a history of workplace harassment, or social media activity that indicates drug and alcohol use.
If you’re still not convinced, remember that online reputation can extend far beyond your professional life. According to a recent market survey 43 percent of adults have admitted to searching a past or present love interest online. Negative or compromising content on the internet can make it harder to build meaningful personal connections.
A Typical Internet Profile
What the internet says about you defines who you are. Even if you aren’t very active on social media, there is almost certainly information about you online. Does this content portray you in a positive, professional light, or is it a collection of random and potentially embarrassing photos and tweets? Does it appear prominently on a search for your name, or do you have to scroll through several pages of irrelevant results about other people with a similar sounding name?
More and more people are checking themselves out online, but unfortunately many don’t like what they see. Only 48 percent of the people who’ve searched their own names find positive content, while one third say there is almost nothing about them. 15 percent have at least one negative result. Less than 2 percent have attained the ORM goal of owning the first page.
These results may be disappointing, but hardly surprising. Negative or sensational content attracts attention quickly, but even with a successful career, you’ll likely only have one or two articles recent or popular enough to rank. Building a solid profile of positive content takes consistent, ongoing work and some knowledge of search engine algorithms.
The good news is there’s something you can do about it. ORM specialists can help build an online profile that presents your personal brand and showcases the best aspects of your life, both personally and professionally. Contact Reputation Defender to learn more.
Click the below for our free ORM Guide