Microsoft: Keep an eye on your online reputation

Online reputation

Online reputation is more important than many job seekers might think, according to a new report released today.

Microsoft's study showed that only 37 per cent of individuals thought the responsibility lay solely with them to protect their online reputations, be it social networking, blogging or other online activity.

But 41 per cent of HR managers admitted to rejecting possible candidates due to their online profiles with a further 64 per cent believing judging somebody by their online profile was the right thing to do.

Cliff Evans, head of privacy and security at Microsoft UK, said in a statement: "Reputation and information sharing as a privacy issue should be a main concern for individuals, especially in a challenging economic environment, where jobs are scarce and online information is evidentially playing a pivotal role in the hiring process."

He added: "Social media, search and other online services offer tremendous benefits, but to safely embrace these services, people need to monitor and cultivate their online reputation."

Microsoft has advised people to check out what comes up when they search their name, create a professional profile and be thoughtful about who they share information and photos with.

"Ignoring your online reputation is no longer an option," added Evans. "Everyone needs to think carefully about the image they are digitally portraying."

"Be your own publicist," he said. "Taking a few simple steps today can help the build the online image you'll need tomorrow."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.