Networking company Viadeo recently released research showing that freely available online information about candidates influenced recruitment decisions in just under 60% of cases. 20% of employers had discovered personal info about possible employees on social websites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube (some of it decidedly unflattering). The group most likely to ‘bare their souls’ online were 18-24yr olds, a large %age of who seem unaware of the blurring of the line between your personal and professional reputation. For me, this raises a few personal PR issues:
* trend towards ego-boosting within our peer group, can have negative stakeholder consequences (ie future clients or employees may not be impressed with your social exploits)
* there’s a difference between personal authenticity and professional naievity; learn it
* your ‘online footprint’ isnt like last year’s CV; it’s an electronic tattoo linked to you by e-code
* your online ‘PR’ can be managed to your advantage; how are you working on your repute?
* every personal post, link, email, photo, comment you make is a reflection of your character
Failure to pay attention to the new rules of reputation management could result in a personal or professional PR disaster. However, while 13% of recruiters did suggest web reputation worked positively for some surveyed, the overwhelming conclusion was that candidates are failing to manage their ‘Net Rep’ effectively.Equally worrying, findings suggested that over half of those researched claimed that someone else had posted pictures of them online without consent.