Avoid the MOST Costly Mistake Job Seekers Make

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Bloomberg News reports "the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 9.9 percent in April as thousands of job seekers entered the labor force looking for work." It's true that the old adage 'you only get one chance to make a good first impression' holds true in a normal job market. In today's economy, you must make sure you are doing everything perfectly - from the beginning of your job search, throughout the interview phase and to following up sequence.

Shockingly, the majority of job seekers fail to realize that fully 70% of hiring managers throughout the USA have rejected a candidate simply because of their online reputation. It is more likely than ever that any misstep will be uncovered even years after the fact. While some sources of this information are obvious: social networking sites, blogs, forums, and sites for posting videos and photos. However, there are less obvious sources that can be equally damaging. Google, for example, keeps Web pages cached and available to searchers.

Consequently, even if a page has been taken down, it will show up in a Google search and may be accessed by clicking on the "Cached" link in Google's results. ZoomInfo.com permanently stores Web pages that mention individuals by name and can be retrieved from their cache at any time.

On the positive side. . . anticipating this internet exposure and realizing a internet search is SOP today, you have a leg up on other job seekers. In the beginning, decide what your goal for having an online presence is. For example, if you are not currently on LinkedIn, you need to establish a profile. Make sure your emphasis on your career and network to establish your expertise in line with your future career moves.

For building a strong personal brand the internet had become the Holy Grail. In today's digital age you must be aware of the face you are showing to the world via the NET. Every keystroke you make, or someone else makes about you, becomes a permanent part of your personal online brand. You can treat the internet as a unending world of opportunities or a personal dungeon.

The first step in monitoring your online reputation is to simply do a search of your name, including nicknames and middle/maiden names, with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Many recruiting firms require combined web searches to ensure the "searchability" of candidates before presenting to a client.

People live life on the run and demand information and messages not only fast but in real time as well. The microblogging service Twitter has filled this niche and allows you a way to monitor your online reputation. You can use TweetScan.com, a Google RSS feed with your name as well as a Technorati RSS feed.

A little extra effort at the beginning of your search will yield large results down the road. By reviewing your online reputation you know what prospective employer will see. This one step can give you a huge advantage over your fellow job seekers and interviewees.

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