University Wises up to Personal SEO
I read an interesting article in Mashable last week reporting that Syracuse University in the United States has purchased subscriptions enabling its students to use Brand Yourself’s online reputation management system to enhance their Personal SEO.
Undoubtedly, this is a bold and innovative move by the university and one that I’m sure will benefit the students. However, when you consider the growing importance of graduate employment figures, it can come as no surprise that university’s are doing their utmost to ensure their students have the best possible chance in the job market.
For me, the concept of Personal SEO is nothing new and the sooner people understand that organisations DO Google potential employees, the better. I’m adamant that Personal SEO is something all young people should be aware of and research by Cross-Tab Marketing highlights why millenials should take note:
- 75% of HR departments worldwide are required to screen job candidates online.
- 70% of recruiters and HR professionals in the U.S. clam they have rejected potential hires based on information surfaced online, and nearly half say that a strong online reputation influences their hiring decisions to a “great extent.”
- 45% of HR professionals screen job candidates on social media sites.
Anecdotally, I also know this to be the case, especially within the PR industry, Stephen Waddington, MD of Speed Communications said: ‘Inevitably employers are using Google as a personal reputation engine and scrutinising these types of sites to review an individual’s career history and work ahead of hiring an individual.’
Indeed, one of the most common phrases I hear is along the lines of ‘if you cannot manage your own online reputation, why should PR agencies entrust you to do the same for clients?’
By the sounds of it, Brand Yourself’s platform will help students monitor and improve their online presence during the all important job search process. Whilst, I feel this will be a valuable, additional service that campus employability teams offer, I would make the case that students should be educated about online reputation management and how to leverage their Personal SEO as soon as they begin studying – not at the final furlong.
Online reputations are best managed over time with quality, organic content, not an afterthought upon graduation.
I’ve been blogging and speaking about Personal SEO for a couple of years now and thoroughly enjoy helping students protect and enhance their online reputation. It’s rewarding and from personal experience, I know what fantastic opportunities can come drop by if you look after your Personal SEO.
Another consideration is that when it comes to using technology to improve graduate employability, the US is normally about 12-18 months ahead of the UK. For instance student blogs, online resumes and e-portfolios are becoming more prevalent in the UK, whereas in the US they have been established for a few years. So I look forward to seeing which UK universities investigate this area.
In the long term I fully expect that more universities will follow Syracuse’s lead as people wake up to the fact that job interviews no longer begins with a handshake, but with a search on Google.
If you would like to have a chat about Personal SEO, do feel free to get in contact.