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More than 90 percent of hiring managers and recruiters use social network sites to screen candidates, according to a survey released today by Reppler, a Palo Alto-based social network monitoring company.
The company’s monitoring service now includes a Reppler Image Score that captures the professionalism and consistency of an online image. This score includes various factors including tone of content, appropriateness of content and the consistency of a person’s profile information across social networks.
Reppler launched back in April 2011 with the hope that people will manage their online image across multiple social networks. Reppler started out with Facebook reputation management but is now available for Twitter and LinkedIn. Reppler reports that Facebook gets the most profile reviews with 76 percent, followed by Twitter with 56 percent and LinkedIn with 48 percent. So while your LinkedIn profile may be squeaky clean, don’t for get to clean up your Facebook presence.
I gave it a shot with my Facebook account. The service is free and it takes about a minute to scan and rate a profile.
My Reppler Image Score is 88. I am told the tone of my Facebook Wall posts is “partly positive.” I am mostly disappointed by that. I want to be in the green of the Image Score. What does it take to be totally positive?
“You must be a very positive person,” says Reppler founder Vlad Gorelik in an email interview, followed by a :-). “Most posts are on the neutral to partially positive side — there are very few people who are always positive and that’s why the indicators are green for neutral to positive territory.”
I like the “Common Words” widget on Reppler. “Love,” “sweet,” “hope” and “like” are some of the biggest words (i.e. most used) on my graph. How much more positive can I be? Another widget is the activity chart. It shows social network activity by hour, weekday and month.
Reppler’s scan of my profile suggests I make my publicly available hometown information private because “hometown” is one of the common authentication challenge questions used to reset account passwords. I have never, ever used my hometown as a challenge question because this information is public on my social networks and elsewhere. I decide not to make that private.
I ask Gorelik if this privacy suggestion is against the spirit of social sharing. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg would certainly be disappointed by a service that encouraged people to share less.
“The amount of social sharing one wants to do is up to them,” replies Gorelik. “However, sharing certain pieces of information publicly — like your hometown, which you might use as a security challenge question on an online account — increases the chances of getting your identity stolen, so Reppler brings that to a user’s attention.”
I ask Gorelik if a company that sees my profile and doesn’t like my personal life would be the wrong company for me to work for anyway. Maybe wearing life on your sleeve is the best way to find the job that fits you best. Company culture is critical to success, and the wrong person in the wrong culture can lead to misery.
“We feel that in the current job climate, job seekers should do their best to present themselves in a manner such that they don’t get eliminated from opportunities without knowing it,” says Gorelik. “We believe that keeping one’s online image clean is an important part of the process.”
There is certainly room for Reppler to grow into more social networks and sharing sites. Scans are not available for Google+. The survey reports that after the big social networks, hiring managers and recruiters say they may take a look at background checks, online want ad site Craigslist and even blogging platform Tumblr.
There’s also room to grow with additional funding. Reppler has raised $675,000 in seed funding and has five employees. It isn’t clear yet how Reppler will make money, but I feel positive they will figure it out. Perhaps someone will be interested in all of the data their widgets are collecting.
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