In recent years, the concept of controlling your personal brand has grown considerably, especially since so much personal information can be found online. The development of databases, personal blogs, and social media websites make it harder and harder for people to keep personal information to themselves.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of personal branding, the process involves controlling your image or “brand”, in order to create certain perceptions about you. The personal brand you create is a result of many factors, such as the way you speak, how you dress, your education, and the information about you that’s made available online.
Your personal brand can play a vital role in whether or not you get that new job or promotion, and it’s important to understand that you have control over your brand, for better or for worse. It’s also particularly important to pay close attention to your social media profiles, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Do employers make hiring decisions based on your social media profiles?
In a nutshell, yes. About a year ago, a Mashable article suggested that 9 out of 10 organizations now screen prospective employees by scanning through their social media profiles and other information available on the web.
Perhaps even more shocking is the statistic that almost 70% of employers have rejected a prospective employee due to information that was made available through their social media profiles.
Social media profiles – personal branding friend or foe?
Your social media profiles can definitely cause trouble in your job search. Remember that embarrassing photo you’re tagged in? Did you post a comment about how much you drank on a certain occasion?
This kind of information can quickly damage your reputation and give off the wrong impression. In general, employers justified not hiring an individual due to:
– Profiles containing inappropriate pictures
– Lying about education or qualifications
– Commenting about using drugs or alcohol
– Commenting on a previous employer
– Unfit communication skills
However, if controlled correctly, your social media profiles can assist in the job hunt. While 70% of employers have rejected a candidate based on their social profiles, about the same percentage of employers have actually hired a candidate based on their social profiles. Organizations mainly hired candidates because their social media profiles:
– Suggested the personality of a candidate fits in well with their organizational culture
– Confirmed or supported professional or educational qualifications
– Demonstrated creativity or sound communication skills
– Contained references, recommendations, or past achievements
Controlling your brand online
Controlling your personal brand can involve a great deal of work, and your online brand is no exception. Take time to make sure your social profiles aren’t detrimental to your brand, and to your job search.
Additional information about personal branding and tips for controlling your online presence can be found in one of our earlier blogs, 5 personal branding tips your online identity should live by.
As always, we’d love to hear your own thoughts about online information and the hiring process. In what ways do you control your own social media profiles?