Job seekers have a lot of work cut out for them. They have to deal with the economic crisis, with the increasing unemployment rate, and with dozens of competitors. It’s not enough anymore to just have the skills for the job – they have to be a personal brand that stands out among the crowd in a good way. And now they’re required to have a social media presence too.

Well, perhaps it’s not exactly required, but as a job seeker, you will definitely be noticed more if you have the right social media presence. You want to position yourself as someone who is an expert in your field, someone who is right for the job. Your online reputation is something that you need to work on in order for you to get the attention of companies and corporations.

This is why online reputation management has become vital to personal brands. Because today’s world has become highly digitalized, any negative, false, or unflattering information about you can greatly affect your chances of being hired. So you can’t just ignore your online reputation. You must monitor and take control of it literally with both hands.

Manage it or have it managed for you

Also, if you think that having no social media presence would be better for your brand, think again. If you don’t define your personal brand in your own terms, then others will define it for you. Which would you rather have a hiring manager discover – information that you posted about yourself, or information about you that was posted by other people?

Not being on social media is basically like handing over the reins of your online reputation to someone else. It’s far better for you to take control.

When was the last time you Googled yourself? Do you control the top ten results, or are the results full of nonsense things about you? Perhaps they are even mostly unrelated to you. When was the last time you went through your social media accounts and checked if there are things that shouldn’t be there, such as crazy, drunken photos, or other unwanted photos that people have tagged you in that you wouldn’t want a job recruiter or hiring manager to see?

Do an image review

If it’s been a while since you’ve done this, you surely have to devote a lot of time scrolling down your whole Facebook Timeline in order to clean up unwanted photos from your page. A good solution to this is the Pendaflex Tag Tamer, which is a Facebook app designed to help you find and remove all those unflattering and unwanted photos, so that they won’t affect your personal brand.

The recent Facebook changes have made Facebook profiles more easily searchable, which is why it has become essential that you ensure that your posts reflect your brand well and show you in a positive light. With the Pendaflex tag tamer, you can quickly tame your profile with the easy-to-use advanced search function, making it into something worthy of your personal brand.

Online reputation is critical to any personal brand’s success, so don’t ignore it. Make sure to monitor and take control of your reputation online, or you just might find yourself at the mercy of other people’s opinions or tags.

Author:

Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.coma word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is co-founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.