Online Reputation Management for College Students

  • March 2013
  • Posted By JohnnyG

As a college or university student you’ll soon face the harsh reality of trying to land a job. That’s the whole point of being a student in a prestigious higher education institution, isn’t it? Unfortunately in most fields today there are more people looking for a job than the companies are hiring, so you’ll have to do everything in your power to market yourself properly in order to get the dream job – or at least the opportunity to have that dream job sometime down the line. The better the job, the harder you have to work for it!

Having the appropriate certification and degree is a step that you cannot avoid and you definitely cannot do anything about it: you either have them or you don’t. However there are a lot of things that have a great impact on the outcome of your job hunt that you can (and should!) do something about. One of these is “googling yourself”. The sad truth is that most company owners or managers take a very thorough look at candidates’ social media profiles, and read everything they can find about the future employees-to-be online. You’d be surprised to know how much information can be found about you online! If you ever had a minor incident with the police, had a DUI case, or maybe a college party went wrong… chances are, there’s information about it online and it can be found with a little digging.

What can you do about something like that? Well it’s not easy to get rid of certain pages that show up among search engine result pages when someone searches for your name. There are certain techniques that you can use, for example, sending out a press release about yourself (make up a share-worthy story or donate a chunk of money to a good cause) certainly helps, you can also try to get yourself featured on the pages of reputable online magazines, send out guest blog posts that have a bio section about you and so on. While these solutions might work they take an awful lot of time and energy to execute and who has time for that while preparing for exams or college graduation? Luckily there are companies who specialize in such services and although corporate search engine reputation management is mostly meant for companies, there are numerous SEO businesses or individuals who take on personal clients as well.

When browsing and interviewing such company there are a couple of things that you should watch out for: while paying a certain amount in advance is pretty standard make sure you only have to fork out the larger part of their fee when they’re finished with the work. It’s even better if you don’t have to pay anything if they cannot produce results! As a college student you might not possess a large budget for such campaigns so make sure you aren’t getting scammed. My other recommendation is to wait at least one or two weeks after you are notified that the campaign has been completed and is a success: results may fade away in a very short amount of time! The optimal would be to wait at least a couple of months and pay after that, however obviously, no company will sign a deal like that so both parties will have to compromise a bit.

Clearing up the search engine result pages for your own name can have an even bigger effect on your hiring than you might realize now, so it might be a good idea to start doing something about it as soon as possible. Good search engine optimization takes time so don’t waste any of it!


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