personal reputation management

Why Personal Reputation Management Matters?

In this day and age, when it’s all about the Internet, you must build an online identity for yourself. But, even if you do that, how do you stand apart? In other words, what can you do to have a distinguished web presence? Now, it may occur to you that you don’t need one, but believe you us, you do. By the way, did we tell you that according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com in 2006, when asked to screen candidates, 1 in 4 hiring managers made use of search engines? Well, at least now you know.

So, you do need an online identity – that’s established, but you may also need positive references, ones that appear when someone searches for your name.

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But what if someone doesn’t really search for you or your name for that matter, and comes across any of your references while simply browsing the web? Do they also get to see the positive ones? Well, they may, if you want them to. Meaning, if you invest (as in put in some effort and time) in Personal Reputation Management, chances are that you’d look good, online.

It is now clear why you need to be visible online and how you can look good, but isn’t it also a possibility that you already have an online identity? Even if that’s the case, you could still use some PRM, especially if you are dealing with reputation problems.

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Here, the process may have a different name (read: online reputation management), but it’s still aimed at ensuring that when someone looks up for you, they are not disappointed. And that’s only possible if all negative references of you are dealt with.

So far, we have talked of online presence, but we are yet to discuss references in detail. For starters, references of you may be in the form of news or even pictures or videos. Your participation in blogs and forums may also shape up your online identity. And then there are personal websites, which are a great way of telling others about you – a great way of giving out information.

Meanwhile, it may come as a surprise that as a process, Personal Reputation Management has different aspects. On one hand, it may have something to do with internet traffic. This might be the case, when you have sites that have some content related to you. Here, the purpose may be to improve both quantity and quality of the traffic.

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And on the other hand, PRM is also likely to come into the picture when you need to control others’ impression of you. In any such situation, it’s commonly referred to as impression management, but then again, the idea is more or less the same – ensuring that when online, you come across as a good person, someone who can be trusted or hired, to be precise.

A Word of Caution

You may decide against having an online identity, but do keep in mind that someone else might think otherwise. Let’s say an old flame bad mouths you online. Shouldn’t you be there to set things right? And what if an unethical colleague tries to do some damage? Well, don’t wait for him to take away that job from you that you have been waiting for. Be proactive and manage your reputation online. Hire an agency, if the need be, but do it.

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