By Genee Latreille, Online Image Management Workshop Facilitator
Have you ever Googled yourself? If so, did you take the time to really analyze the results and filter out any negative representations? Studies show that upwards of 86% of employers will look up job search candidates online, either in a search engine or social media site. And nearly half of them have refused a candidate because of what they found. But it doesn’t stop there: even those with comfortable, permanent positions in companies have been fired over online activity. A quick search of the words “fired over Facebook” turns up countless stories of people who have lost their jobs due to their comments or behaviour found on the internet.
So in this age of increased visibility, should we just avoid using these sites so as not to tarnish our reputation? Not necessarily. By engaging in smart social networking – that is, active and conscious monitoring of your use and making informed choices about privacy settings – you can not only avoid making blunders that negatively impact your online image, you can in fact use these sites to promote your skills, build your personal and professional networks and help establish and grow your personal brand.
To learn more about what steps you can take to improve the image you’re projecting online, please join us for Ometz’s Online Image Management workshop, next Wednesday February 20th from 5:30-7:30pm. We will cover the three primary social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and discuss how you can best leverage each site to ensure you’re truly in charge of what image you’re presenting on the internet. We look forward to seeing you there!
Genee Latreille is a graduate of Concordia’s Communications Studies program. She has worked to improve access to technology with people of all backgrounds – particularly immigrants and senior citizens. She was the project coordinator for Networking 2.0, an initiative to help immigrants integrate into the Quebec job market using social media technology.