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The Now, The New & The Next in Careers

Social Media & Online Reputation Articles

Stay ahead of the curve with insights from our CTL Associates.

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  • 14 Dec 2015 11:02 AM | Anonymous
    By E. Chandlee Bryan, M.Ed., CPRW
    Best Fit Forward

    Reprinted with permission from Quintessential Careers

    In less than five years, Facebook has emerged as a household name and now has more than 70 million active users, according to Facebook statistics. A recent ExecuNet newsletter reports that “60 percent of wealthy Americans with an average income of $287,000/year and net worth of $2.1 million participate in online social networks, compared to just 27 percent a year ago.” These individuals belong to an average 2.8 networks.

    While online social networks are useful in terms of helping you make connections, developing a great “brand” identity and maintaining a good online reputation is of critical importance. This article will provide five strategies for creating online social networking that will help you build your reputation and leverage your contacts

    1. Be Selective.

    It’s not who you know, it is “who knows you back.” Connect only with friends and colleagues who will speak favorably of you, and who you will recommend to others.

    2. Be a Good Friend.

    One of the best ways to create loyalty, brand identity and a good online reputation is to share non-proprietary information that is of potential interest to your contacts. You can greatly increase the value of your network by sharing what you know. A great way to learn of potential topics of interest to your friends is to create Google News Alerts or feeds that will send you automatic alerts with current information.

    3. Be Polite and Cautious.

    If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it all. Remember that adding comments to blogs and uploading pictures can leave a permanent trail and written record. Posting information online is like sending a postcard—anyone can see it, and it could get in the hand of the wrong person.

    4. Be Vigilant.

    Many employers search the Web prior to making interview invitations or employment offers. Be careful how you share personal information. For example, never Twitter (see text box,To Twitter or Not to Twitter) about a job offer until you’ve accepted, or Tweet about a resignation. Negative comments can spread like a nasty pandemic. A general rule of thumb: if your mom would be embarrassed, publish under a pseudonym if you must. Set up a Google News Alert to monitor information about you that is available on the web—and request removal of negative comments or inaccurate information.

    5. Be Transparent.

    Share information about your career, your interests, and what’s important to you. Update your info regularly with care. The more your contacts know of your interests, the more they can be of help to you.

    Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by visiting the Job Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms at Quintessential Careers.

  • 09 Jul 2011 5:21 PM | Anonymous
    By Gerry Corbett

    Connectiquette is not a typo or a state in New England.  It refers to a process of thoughtful deliberation. This age of the network and personal collaboration is bringing important benefits to people around the world.  Technology has brought us all closer together, afforded the ability to create like communities, given voice to all and particularly to those who previously had no voice and enabled countless good deeds and beneficiaries.  The proliferation of social collaboration platforms is making it easy to connect with long-lost friends and family, new friends, business colleagues and other people who have similar interests, aspirations and goals.  And these same platforms have become crucial in job search and career management. 

    We now have the ability and liberty to identify hiring managers and influencers that play significant roles in the hiring process. But with all good things comes the idea of responsibility, taking care to be ethical and transparent about how we use technology to advance and effectively manage our careers and career goals.  So in the spirit of being responsible, here are several recommendations on how to handle networking and connecting with people you feel can have an influence on your job search or career development.

    Making the Ask:

    1. Typically only connect with people you know and who know you.

    2. If you want to connect with someone you have not met, ask for a referral from someone you know who does have a connection. Explain your rationale for wanting to link and make the ask. Also do not forget to offer to reciprocate.

    3. If you do not have any linkage to someone to whom you absolutely, positively must connect, do your research, strategize on your ask, compose a logical pitch and make the ask. If your request is reasonable, logical, friendly, and open, and you offer to return the courtesy, your chances of a connection are significantly higher than if you did not do your due diligence.

    4. One other technique to consider is a simple, yet thoughtful, hand-written letter of introduction that you send via snail mail to outline your background and mission in requesting to connect. Many times this technique will achieve the desired effect because it is different, offline and in some circles, considered classy and unique.

    Considering the Ask:

    1. Connect. If you know the person and have had positive interaction, your decision is easy. Frankly, the larger your personal network of people, the better equipped you will be in your business or in a job search. You never know when some opportunity or challenge comes along where you will require some help or an appropriate connection in your job. So why tempt fate? Connect.

    2. Do due diligence. If you receive a request by an unknown person to link, closely examine the name and conduct a quick background check. If the person and the company are to your liking and you see value, connect.

    3. A positive link. If the requester is connected to someone you know, respect, and appreciate, and the person has provided a reason to link, you may want to connect.

    4. Assess the potential. If the requester is unknown, try a Google search.  Check LinkedIn and/or Facebook or even Jigsaw, Ning, Spoke or Plaxo. If the person moves in your sphere, is engaged in your business, and has potential as a connection to you, make an educated guesstimate to their value to you and your value to them. If it is positive and additive, just connect!

    Taking a Pass?

    1. Forget the guilt. If you do not know the person and they live in Nigeria, there may be reason to take a pass.

    2. Be honest and respond. If you cannot muster any interest or logical reason to connect after doing due diligence on your requester, take a pass. If you are compassionate nonetheless, respond with a “Thank you for your request to connect.  Being honest though, I do not know you, have no link with your network and you have provided no logical reason to connect, I am going to take a pass.  I wish you all the best.”

    As has been said many times, networking can be both benefit and bane.  The key is to manage the network so that you have the ability to receive its rewards and the opportunity to pay it forward or back. What is clear is that networks are essential to human progress. They are useless unless you effectively employ them to gain advantage or give advantage. The key is to operate them in a way that is mutually beneficial, efficient to manage and implemented with respect, reciprocity and rigor.

  • 01 Jul 2011 5:25 PM | Anonymous

    By Don Orlando

    You’ve heard it often enough: networking is the key to finding a job, and social networking is the key to getting started. You’re on LinkedIn. You’ve joined special groups. You subscribe to the “right” blogs. And you are annoyed every day with notifications that someone has “added” to the discussion. Off you go to see what nugget of vital information you must not miss. And, if you’re like me, nearly three-quarters of the postings are a waste of time--endless “me-too’s,” unsupported opinions, off topic messages, and blatant promotions.

    It’s enough to make you throw up your hands in frustration. Don’t. There is a rarely talked about advanced and productive form of networking. It leverages all the “noise” you often encounter. I call it thoughtful contribution. Start by scanning the discussion titles and the names of the contributor. If the title is too broad or vague, don’t follow that thread. But before you do, look at the contributor’s name. Are her comments insightful, well written, and on target? If the answer is yes, be sure to read what she says.

    Now you can begin to see the concept of advanced, productive networking. Its goal is to have you seen as a primary influencer—not by the number of postings you make, but by the quality of what you write. If you see a topic of interest, give some thought as to what meaningful contribution you can make. Write as clearly as you can. Support your opinion wherever possible. Won’t that limit your contributions?

    Yes ... and it should! I want you to become known as a genuine thought leader. When you do, you’ll find others will reach out to you, offline, to seek your guidance and support. Now you are connecting with people who can really help you. Let’s put you in charge of the impact of social networking tools on your life.

    At last, you’ll be free of the nagging guilt that you must scan every single posting on every single subject. Rather, the power of your thought—and writing is thought made visible—will enrich the conversations you’ll have with members of your network. And it’s those conversations that informed hiring decision makers use to offer interviews with confidence.

  • 05 Feb 2011 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    By Charlotte Weeks

    The internet has added a whole other dimension to reputation management. With the anonymity and easy access it brings, the chances have increased that you’ll end up being the target of a negative comment at some point. While most people will take an isolated remark with a grain of salt, if you’re seeking a leadership position, it is vital that you are seen in the most positive light. The first step involves doing what is known as an “ego search” – googling your name. Hopefully, you haven’t found anything damaging, but don’t stop there. Online content can change in the blink of an eye, so make it a rule to search yourself at least once a week. So, what can you do if you come across something online that you wish wasn’t there?

    1) Bury it: Most people don’t search results past the first few pages. Push the negative information farther back by putting out positive information. An article, blog comment, or press release can be distributed by you and will likely rank high in the search engines.

    2) Take legal action: If there is something you need completely eliminated, talk to a lawyer or consider a service like reputationdefender.com, a company which helps people manage their online reputations.

    Whether you’re in job search mode or not, be proactive and keep your online identity spotless. You never know when someone is going to find you online and consider you for a position. Control what they see and make sure it’s positive!

  • 04 Jul 2010 1:58 PM | Anonymous

    By Gerry Corbett

    It bears noting that now, more than ever, your virtual footprint should reflect your achievements, professionalism, savvy and hire-ability. There is no room for compromise when it comes to your profile and track record, or what I call your Virtual Data Points. When an HR person or an executive recruiter goes looking for evidence of your worth on the web, make sure it screams your value and integrity. Here are five road rules to consider to insure that your background and virtual profile send sparks above the rest. 

    1. Be authentic. Your voice is your word. Don’t embellish beyond reality. Tell the truth. Speak from the heart. Your authentic voice has a way of shining through and shining true. 

    2. Be strategic. When you blog, tweet, comment, answer questions, post your status or an image or video, consider well what it says about you from the outside. Do you come across smart? Do you portray professionalism and knowledge? Does what you say reflect your true character? Can people divine your value and passion? Are you positioned the way you want? 

    3. Be a sculptor. Fine tune what you say and how you say it. Whether it is a profile on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter, or an answer on LinkedIn, think about the content you create. Make sure it leaves the impressions you hope and expect. Fashion your words so that they speak well about your abilities, character, knowledge and thought process.

    4. Be a thought leader. If you want people to think well of you, give them something! Add value. Impart wisdom that is yours. Say something meaningful and helpful. Add to the stream, don’t subtract from it. 

    5. Think before you post! A great rule of the road from time immemorial, “Don’t say it, if you don’t want to see it.” Too often in haste, we make offhand comments that later have the potential of diverting our reputation off the straight and narrow. Don’t let it happen. If you want to post out of humor, anger, frustration or fear, first consider the consequences.

  • 26 Apr 2010 7:21 PM | Anonymous

    By John O'Connor

    To fight the epidemic of wasted productive time, here are some foundational tips for executives to maximize social media:

    --Treat Social Media as Business Media. Be savvy in any social media setting.

    --Focus on Outstanding Content, Not Exposure. For example, develop well-thought out comments on blogs and short articles (including reprints) for industry specific publications to grow your authentic brand.

    --Decide in Advance What You Want to Accomplish with Social Media Before You Start. Stop mindless “chatting” with people about job search and a myriad of other issues and develop a business plan for search and professional conduct.

    --Know That Online Conduct Impacts Offline Conduct. Stop one way conversations, opinions added to Comments pages and started interacting with key professionals in his field on a number of niche channels, groups on Linked In and more.

    --A Weak Online Profile Equals a Weak Executive. Get a new, professionally developed resume, then refine it to fit LinkedIn profiles and use various versions to populate other channels where people could read the bio. There are many. You may need a guide to show you.

    --Adjust Your Online Profile to the Media Channels You Choose. One client we recently coached found two short, one minute industry-focused videos and added them to his YouTube channel, thus creating a short, professional video bio, not of his resume, but of him being productive in the marketplace.

    --Understand the Foundation - Keywords, Bio and Resume Information Must Create the Compelling Brand Focused on a Productive Purpose. Engineer your bio to attract third-party recruiters, and began dialoguing with third party and corporate recruiters you meet (if you are in a career transition) and through other unique professional introductions. Even if you are employed, get found online by talent hunters who are hunting for keywords, phrases and other digital insight that let them know you may be an excellent placement candidate or professional connection in business.

    --Concentrate on One or Just a Few Social Networking Opportunities and Leave the Others Behind. Simplify your "social media" interactions on multiple eight channels and focus on a few industry channels that help you broadcast your value proposition vs. your needs; in fact, one client of ours was coached to immediately leave 10 “job seeker” groups on LinkedIn in favor of industry and association focused groups within his profession and started interacting with top peers in his field.

    --Know That Social Media May Require a New Degree of Transparency and Originality. Stop trying to sell your skills, and just enhance your professional connections and brand. So invest time in work, interactions and behaviors that make business sense.

    If you want to use some of your time on social media to chat, entertain yourself, reconnect with old friends and look busy, feel free. But as an executive job seeker, look hard at every digital step you take, and don’t be influenced by the latest fad. Learn how to take productive, value and brand building communications to a new level fast. Don’t be in a hurry to catch the latest social media fever, but be in a hurry to learn productive social media behavior that enhances your career and unique value proposition.

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