Managing Your Reputation

Those unflattering middle school pictures on Facebook, teen shaming ecards and college Instagram party pics aren’t just ruining your potential romantic relationships, they’re harming your ability to get a job, even a part-time one.

Once upon a time (think 1990’s and early 2000’s) restauranteurs and the Limited didn’t care if you were a weekend partier or took awful photos, now they not only care, but you’ll get screened out before human eyes ever see your resume. The liability is too big. If you’re willing to live your life online, what’s to stop you from making a video like this Domino’s one, or exposing what really happens behind Target’s closed doors?

As this article and infographic from Undercover Recruiter points out, “You don’t have to be squeaky clean – it’s as important to be interesting and relevant – but an awful lot of damage can be done in a very brief period of time by behaving in an inappropriate manner. Before you know what’s happened, your reputation is in tatters and the fallout is irrecoverable.”

This infographic from KBSD, posted on Undercover Recruiter  has good suggestions for managing your online reputation.

how you can manage your online reputationImage from: theundercoverrecruiter.com

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Comparing Job Offers

With salaries squeezed, more and more companies are offering benefits such as unlimited vacation, 401K matching and fully paid medical and dental. As this recent Mashable.com article points out, the non-monetary benefits can make up for a less than stellar salary. Some employers let employees bank vacation time and pay out for unused days at the end of the year.

“A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive for Ask.com shows just how important abundant vacation time is to workers, even if they’re not using it: More than a third of people surveyed said unlimited paid time off would encourage them to take or keep a job (34%),” according to this recent Mashable.com article.  “Although only 38% of workers surveyed actually take all their paid time off (PTO) days.”

If you’re lucky enough to get two offers or are weighing whether or not you should leave your current position for another job, ask yourself the following:

  • What does the whole fiscal package looks like when comparing job offers. Put a dollar value on days off (divide the salary by 52 weeks and again by 40 to get your rough, pre-tax hourly rate. Then times that number by 8 (hours) to get your rough, pre-tax daily rate)
  • What is the company offering for medical, dental and vision?
  • Are there other perks (cell phone, mileage, etc.)?

This information will let you better compare apples to apples. However, just because one offer is fiscally better, is the environment better? What about the actual job duties? Your co-workers? Potential boss?

Even if the perks are great, will you actually be able to take those unlimited days? As mentioned above, not all employees can use the great vacation benefits.

It’s a gamble either way, but with as much information as you can get, you should feel comfortable with your choice.

More: read why you should use your vacation time.

Background Checks Now Include Twitter, Facebook and more

More and more employers are checking the social media profiles and posts of potential hires.

Any post or group that could be taken out of context, or construed to make you out as “somebody who likes a racist joke, drinks too much booze or maybe is a bit too fond of guns” can be grounds for an employer to pull your application, according to this recent ABCNews article states. And it’s all legal.

“The Federal Trade Commission has just given the okay for Social Intelligence Corp. to sell these reports to employers and the file will last for seven long years,” the article states.

Even if your profiles are squeaky clean and you actively manage your public information, consider your friends. ” It’s still possible that among your Facebook friends, unbeknownst to you, there’s someone with a criminal record,” the article continues. “An employer could turn you down for having iffy friends and not run afoul of any employment discrimination law.”

Potential employers aren’t getting this information by friending or following you. Often they are outsourcing their research to companies like Social Intelligence Corp. or checking in with friends of your friends to see what you may have hidden. Remember, there is a huge difference between a photo album on your shelf at home and one online, even “protected.” Some employers are going so far as to require potential employees share their usernames and passwords. Whether or not you choose to share this information depends on the position, your personal opinions and how much you want to work for that employer. Before you log in, in front of your future HR Manager or boss, consider this, do you really want to work for someone who would ask you to do that?

While slightly outdated, this CareerBuilder article from earlier this year includes information on how many employers search social media profiles as part of a background check.

The only way to really protect yourself is to be mindful of what you post in the first place. Be sure to check your history for inaccuracies, strange settings, old comments. Ask yourself, out of context does anything seem strange? Make it a habit to check this once a month, when you Google yourself.