In 2008, after string of disappointing job rejections, Pete Kistler made a startling discovery. When potential employers Googled his name, the first person they saw was a convicted drug dealer. Or a sex offender. Or, by sheer coincidence, a whole host of other unsavoury characters.
Pete Kistler is, however, none of those things. If HR directors had done even the slightest bit of digging, they could have discovered that for themselves. Instead, seeing the first page of Google flooded with felons, the companies he was looking to work with decided that he wasn’t worth the hassle in an already crowded job market and poor Pete’s CV went straight to the bottom of the pile.
Business owners tend to be very focussed on how their company fares in internet searches but they often forget that curious clients are just as likely to Google their name, too – and a poor personal reputation online can be as, if not more, disastrous than your business one.
Kistler dealt with the issue by setting up a company, BrandYourself, that helps individuals ensure they’re not tarred with a namesake’s brush. However, there are many other simple ways to keep tabs of your online reputation, as you can see from the infographic below.