Saving Face: Does Your Online Reputation Need Managing?

Cheryl Lock
Posted

online reputationKevin G. had been working in finance for five years when he decided to apply for a new position at an illustrious firm.

“I’d heard that a lot of employers will do some due diligence online before interviewing people, but I didn’t have any type of online presence at the time—no Facebook, no LinkedIn, nothing,” says Kevin. “But I decided to Google myself, anyway, to see what came up.”

What he found was another Kevin G., whose disturbing information was readily available online. “The Kevin G. who came up was a child sex offender,” Kevin says. “He has a different middle initial, and he’s in his sixties, while I’m in my twenties. But I didn’t think that potential employers would even get to those details. Instead, I saw them passing up on my résumé once they saw that the whole first page of search results for my name was from mugshots.com and bustedoffenders.com.”

Clearly, Kevin needed to do something—and fast. Luckily, a friend of his told him about a website called BrandYourself. It’s one of many online reputation management services that claim to be able to swiftly clean up your digital profile. Depending on how much cyber-scrubbing needs to be done, these services can either be free or cost upwards of $1,000 a month.

But are they worth it?

To find out, we checked in with people just like Kevin who’ve used these popular sites for honest feedback on their digital revamps—as well as asked experts for advice on how you can improve your internet rep without shelling out a lot of cash.

  • http://www.traviswaits.com/ Travis Waits

    This is a great article and great tips. You must control the dialogue to give people a clear definition of who you are. Silence online does the opposite and allows negativity, gossip, and even slander to fill the search results about you.
    One piece that could be mentioned is that of online stalking. Most sites, including google analytics now have the ability to retain the IP address of anyone posting negatively. This way, at least you have a way, or your attorney has a way, to sue someone for liable or slander when they are trying to assassinate your character.

    • Sam Hyatt-Aerni

      That’s kinda creepy dude! REALLY CREEPY!! um…yea. Thanks….