How To Manage Your Online Reputation

Now, while it’s highly unlikely that most people will want to see your pics from ‘Zante 09’ or ‘Steve’s epic birthday antics!’ – the fact is there are a few people who may be VERY interested in your behaviour, namely current or potential employers.

In 2011, social media monitoring service, Reppler, found that a huge 91% of employers used social media to screen candidates and, worryingly, 69% of them had rejected a candidate based upon what they found.

So let’s get started shall we:

First things first - have a good ol’ Google

Google yourself. Are the things you find about yourself correct or misrepresentative? Try to get rid of any embarrassing or irrelevant social footprints. Check several pages in to your search, better to be safe than sorry, and all that jazz.

Think before you type 

If the settings on your social media aren’t completely private you need to bear in mind how you would feel about an employer reading what you type. Think before you type – do you really want to share this? Do avoid swearing like a sailor, if you can help it. Also, at the risk of sounding like a complete bore - try to avoid spelling and grammatical errors, it makes you look less employable.

There are two overarching ways you can make what you type count in your favour. The first is to be genuinely likeable. Make sure that what you are saying is overall fairly positive. No employer will be impressed by endless rants about how your mate is ‘doing your nut in again’. The second way is to be interesting - whatever your passions are, use social media to keep a finger on the pulse. Develop your voice and join in conversations.

Get privacy pernickety

Regularly check and update your privacy settings. Sites like Facebook and Twitter make changes to privacy options like it’s going out of fashion. However, here is how to control privacy on them at the moment:

Facebook’s new(ish) timeline feature makes easy for people to dig into your past in an unprecedented manner, making it even more important to control your privacy. If you go to ‘Privacy’ and ‘Timeline and Tagging’ in 'Privacy Settings' you can choose all sorts of options - for instance who can see particular status updates, photos and so on. Using these means you don’t have to delete everything incriminating, you can tailor just what you put out to your audience.

Twitter wise, you can tick a box called Protect my Tweets; which if selected means that only those who you approve will have access to your tweets, handy!

Be thorough 

Make sure you look out for any forums you’ve posted in, youtube videos you are in. If you’ve ever posted anything under your real name then it could show up in a search.

Also, in terms of Facey B and Twitter, it’s not all about the status or the tweet:

● Be careful of your likes, e.g. liking ‘Good riddance Margaret Thatcher’ or ‘The LAD Bible’ give an impression of you, which depending on the employer/potential employer, may not be favourable, best not to risk it eh.

● Be careful of what people write on your page or tweet you. Something like ‘you absolute waster - I can’t believe you were sick on my shoes haha’  isn’t a glowing reference for you. On Facebook you adjust settings so you can review things in an ‘Activity log’ before they appear on your wall. Handy.

● Finally, beware of what you write on other peoples walls/pages.

Use all the tools in your kit

Let's get a little more positive shall we? How can you use the internet to your advantage?


The great thing about Twitter is you do not need someone’s permission to follow them. Follow people whose careers you admire, organizations who do work you are interested in. You can use Twitter to listen to what your favoured employers are saying, keep up to date with their latest news, engage with them by providing feedback and questions on what they share.


Some of the big graduate recruiters have groups on Facebook to make it easier for graduates to get in touch and find out about their organisations, which can be an excellent opportunity to network.


This professional networking site is often underutilised by students and grads. Join groups related to your interests and start participating in discussions. Learn who the leaders are in the fields you are interested in and start connecting with the companies they work for.


If you have a bit of time, consider setting up your own website or blog. This will demonstrate initiative as well as showing off your creativity and communication skills. If you’re looking to start blogging, why not join us on a Journalism Internship with the Daily Touch?!

Keep it up!

All the above tips are essential to use before applying to jobs but to finish, let’s have a few examples as words of warning for why even once you have the job you still need to manage your online reputation!:

February, 2009: Kimberly Swan. A teenage office worker from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, was fired for calling her job “boring” and posting comments like “First day at work. Omg!! So dull!!” and “All I do is shred holepunch and scan paper!!!”.

August, 2009: A woman only known as Lindsay was fired for insulting her boss on Facebook. She called him a “total pervy w****r”, but forgot that she had added him as a friend and he could read her status update. Whoops.

April 2011:  Cameron Reilly. This 18-year-old guardsman didn’t care for Kate Middleton; he posted the following on his facebook. “Hur and william drove past me on Friday n all a got was a s****y wave while she looked the opposite way from me, stupid stuck up cow am I not good enough for them! posh b***h am totally with u on this 1 who reely gives a f about hur,” and was out of work soon after.

Although it’s hard to muster much sympathy for these ladies and gents, Lindsay in particular, it’s not difficult to understand how easy it is to lose sight of what you share on the Internet. Make sure you follow the tips above to let your online reputation give the best impression of brand ‘you’! (sorry, couldn’t resist)

If you’re in the mood for tidying up your offline presence too, check out our Advice Section, you'll find some handy tips on how to spruce up your CV, cover letter, interview prep and lots more! 


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