Self PR online

March 28, 2007

In these days of social networks and community based web sites it’s no surprise to learn that employers are wising up to the wealth of information that prospective employees are posting about themselves online. Most web users have signed up to at least one social network or community, many using their own names or posting identifying details. Some of these sites are good self PR (Linkedin, Xing, Soflow etc), while others can be sources of rather less positive PR (MySpace, Bebo, Faceparty etc). With the pervasiveness of these websites and the growing profile, is it now time people got a bit more cautious about what they post?

According to a report from business social network, Viadeo these social networks can have a significant effect when applying for a job. According to the research, one in five employers finds information about candidates on the internet and 59 per cent of those said it influences recruitment decisions. A quarter of HR decision-makers said they had rejected candidates based on personal information found online. Examples of information that has proved to create a negative impression of candidates include MySpace or Faceparty sites which expose excessive drinking or a general disrespect for work. Ethical issues which prospects post about on blogs and social sites can also put a stop to a job application before it gets off the ground.

The moral? Careful what you post, you never know who’s reading your blog/profile… Self PR is something you can control through sensible use of blogs and social networks, you can even improve your employability through strategic use of the positive networks or blogging about issues relating to your chosen field. This could become a really good way to increase your profile with employers and to impress before you even get to interview.

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