How Cheeky Code Can Affect Your Online Reputation

How much effort do you go to in order to sanitise your online presence and reputation? We’ve all seen stories about how celebrities and politicians have been put under intense scrutiny when some activity or preference is considered salacious enough to hit the headlines. But what about the rest of us? What does our online profile mean for job prospects?

There’s an interesting article over at Forbes on how HR departments and recruitment agencies are using online tools to research candidates. While this isn’t new, the level of depth being employed is greater than ever and the amount of data available about us is significant.

For example, we can expect specialist recruiters to look in places like GitHub for code samples. And in those samples there are, potentially, comments that might not reflect well to a recruiter who sees them without the context of when they were made.

Or perhaps you’ve named a sub-routine or two in a way you thought was humourous but someone else might not get the joke.

Incidentally, I spoke with GitHub’s chief business officer, Julio Avalos, a couple of weeks ago and he told me LinkedIn broke GitHub’s API access as the social media giant saw GitHub as a threat to their recruitment business.

One stat that stood out was that fewer than 2 per cent of people own the first page of Google search results for their own name.

The Forbes article offers some interesting advice and insight that’s worth a look.

The Case For Online Reputation Management: By The Numbers [Forbes]

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