According to a recent study by Cross-Tab Marketing services, 75% of HR departments worldwide are required to screen job candidates online. Seventy percent 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." A similar study conducted by CareerBuilder last year found that 45% of HR professionals screen job candidates on social media sites.
Given these numbers, the partnership seems like a smart move for Syracuse University's Career Services department. "Our students need a way to put their best foot forward when they're being researched by potential employers on Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn," the director of the department, Mike Cahill, explained. "Brand-Yourself helps prepare our students for success in today's digital environment."
Students can use Brand-Yourself's platform to evaluate their current online presence, build professional profiles on their own websites and platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and then optimize these profiles to rank above negative or irrelevant results in Google search. Students can then use the platform to monitor their online presence as it evolves.
Brand-Yourself's professional relationship with Syracuse began last year. The startup, whose four employees all studied at Syracuse, observed that some students were failing to get hired for jobs and internships because of their online presence was poorly managed. Initially, Syracuse hired the team to hold workshops for career coaches and students on online reputation management while they developed their SaaS.
Brand-Yourself soft launched their platform nine weeks ago and is currently averaging about 100 sign-ups per week. The company also just raised its seed round of funding 275K from private investors, including a managing director at Black Rock.
Do you think universities should provide online reputation management tools to their students? What other tools do you recommend to optimize your online presence?
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Tags: job seekers, online reputation, students, university
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