The Importance of Managing Your Online Reputation | #CollegeStudent

The Importance of Managing Your Online Reputation as a College Student


Social media is constantly transforming the way we interact and maintain relationships with our family, friends, coworkers, andeveryoneelseinbetween. While all of the tools that are available to us have the capacity to strengthen our connections (depending on how frequently we engage with each platform’s components), they also have the ability to destroy our precious reputations.

More than ever before, we need to be wary of what we post online as it could have lasting implications on our futures. On the surface, social media is seemingly constituted as a lighthearted pastime for many college students. After a day of classes and activities, students look forward to sharing humorous content with their peers and/or posting pictures of events that took place over the weekend. Tragically, many don’t realize that this information is unwittingly used against them.
<h2style=”text-align: center”>The Evolving Job Market and Your Online Reputation

Nowadays, the average college student is dreading graduation. Despite the lucky few out there who have jobs lined up before they enter the real world, most students are fretting about what to do next. While you may have a superb academic record, a handful of internships, and other skills you’ve acquired alongthe way – it’s simply not enough!

In order to determine the right fit for any company, employers want to assess your personal values and characteristics. While most of this information can be detected through an interview, employers need to maximize their time spent on hiring. In order to weed out the bad from the good, and recruit quality employees, employers dig deeper by turning to the Internet.

But howoften does this happen? According to an article on, “A 2009 Microsoft-sponsored study revealed that 79 percent of US job recruiters and hiring managers use the Internet to research potential job candidates.” Although that study was conducted four years ago, there is no doubt that this number only continues to rise.

That statistic alone is enough for cause of concern. Therefore, current students should make it a priority to manage and maintain their online reputations.

Before we get into sprucing up your online reputation, it’s important to know what employers are using for their research. As featured on, the aforementioned Microsoft study, ranked the most widely applied methods:

  • Search engines: 78%
  • Social networking sites: 63%
  • Photo and video sharing sites: 59%
  • Professional and business networking sites: 57%
  • Personal websites: 48%
  • Blogs: 46%
  • News sharing sites (e.g. Twitter): 41%
  • Online forums and communities: 34%
  • Virtual world sites: 32%
  • Online gaming sites: 27%
  • Professional background checking services: 27%
  • Classifieds and auction sites: 25%
  • None of these: 2%

Be Mindful

As we can see, the results that come up on search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) are where employers start to discern a variety of factors. Although it is second on the list, employers primarily use social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, personal blogs, etc.) to find negative information.

Despite the fact that many things posted on these sites are shared with harmless intent, your “dirty laundry” can thwart your chances of landing and keeping a good job. With that in mind, Microsoft found that the following factors come into play when employers scour the Internet:

  • Concerns about a candidates lifestyle: 58%
  • Inappropriate comments and text written by the candidate: 56%
  • Unsuitable photos, video and information: 55%
  • Inappropriate comments or text written by friends and relatives: 43%
  • Comments criticizing previous employers, coworkers or clients: 40%</li>
  • I
    Pages: 1 2