5 Reasons Your Online Reputation Is More Important Than You Think

posted by Chris Valentine

Ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? That’s because you probably are. It’s impossible to know how many people judge your online reputation each day, but you can bet that people are judging you.

To avoid posting anything that might work against you, you need to get into the habit of online reputation management. Choosing what to post can help you present yourself in a way that opens the door to more opportunities and connections.

Think it’s no big deal? Consider a few reasons why your online presence matters.

1. Employer Screenings

Whether you’re applying to a college or your dream job, you want to leave a good first impression. That picture of you drunk at a party might hurt your chances. Plus, employers often use social media to determine whether you’re a fit for their culture.

Don’t give people a reason to dismiss you. Clean up your online profile and present yourself as someone who people will want to get to know.

2. Job Security

So you passed the screening, aced your interview, and secured your dream job. You can afford to get careless now, right? Wrong.

Your employer is still watching you. Posting too much during work hours. Spreading online rumors about your co-workers or your boss. Sharing pictures of you doing drugs over the weekend. These can hurt your job security and damage your reputation.

First impressions matter, but you need to back it up with good behavior.

3. Litigation

If you find yourself in a legal bind, you better have your social media presence straightened out. Lawyers can and will use online public information as evidence against you.

Shady Facebook groups, Twitter rants, and angry posts could paint you in a bad light; The courtroom cares. Check out this post to learn more about how lawyers are using social media in their cases.

4. Branding

If you practice online reputation monitoring, you can use social media to your benefit. Want to get into your top college? Post pictures of you volunteering. Interested in that writing job? Post samples of your writing.

Social media gives you the chance to impact people before ever meeting them face-to-face. Craft your online brand, and you’ll stand out in all the right ways.

5. You Need an Online Reputation

Not using online platforms is simply not an option. Think you’re better off hiding from the world? Think again.

Employers want to see that you have some sort of digital presence. If you show people nothing, they might think you’re keeping something from them.

At the very least, employers want to get a sense of who you are before meeting you. Don’t let the fear of making mistakes stop you from putting effort into making online connections.

Put Yourself Out There

The digital world contains many pitfalls you need to look out for. But this doesn’t mean you should avoid the digital world altogether.

Post pictures you can be proud of. Present yourself as someone you’d like to meet as well. Develop an online reputation that represents the best parts of you.

Do these things, and you won’t have to worry about people looking you up. In fact, you’ll want them to look you up.

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