We are in a world where online reputation management has become critical in the employment sector. Many businesses must now screen the social profiles of job applicants when hiring. Anything inappropriate you share online can negatively impact your entire career.
The world is hyper-connected, and you can share any video, photo, or audio of your choice with everyone. However, while you might eventually forget what you posted in the past, the internet never does. Anything bad you upload on the internet is recorded, whether it’s a tweet or comment. It can haunt you forever.
Your Personal Posts Reflect on Your Professional Life
It’s not wrong to post whatever comes into your mind on the internet. But you need to ask yourself, “How will this post affect my career today and in the future?” Try to figure out how other people will perceive the message, whether it’s a joke or not.
If something seems offensive or damaging, don’t post it. Whatever you post online can change people’s perspective about you, including potential employers. And while not all your online activity can jeopardize your job, a misstep can still cause an employer to withdraw a job offer or terminate your employment entirely.
Pro Tip: Anything online connected with your name reflects on you, personally and professionally. And your boss and coworkers can find it if they look you up. Make sure you know what your name is associated with.
Observing Online Etiquette
On the flip side of the coin, sharing interesting or positive content can boost your career by improving your online reputation. But even the simple act of reposting good content can cause you problems if you do it improperly. For instance, reposting an article you enjoyed without giving credit to the author will be perceived as plagiarism. Even if you weren’t intending to steal the credit for another’s work, accidental plagiarism is viewed almost as harshly as the real thing. Provide links to the original and, if possible, get permission from the owner to share their content publicly.
Additionally, keep your language polite and professional. People too often take advantage of their relatively online anonymity to post vicious diatribes against others. Be the bigger person and don’t use offensive or rude language in your online activity.
Think Twice, Post Once
The internet is forever! So, you shouldn’t only think about your career but also your relationship with other people reading your posts. Whoever is reading your post today can be your future employer. They can use your posts to perceive your character.
Also, don’t post anything online on behalf of your employer without their consent. That can affect your relationship with your employer. That’s not to say that posting a review of your company is a bad thing, just that if you’re speaking as a representative of your company, make sure your boss is aware and okay with what you’re saying.
Be Safe Rather Than Sorry
Online reputation management is absolutely vital. You wouldn’t want to miss a great career opportunity or be fired because of unscrupulous posts you shared in the past. You can apologize, but that can’t save your job. Think twice before posting anything online!
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