Good Rapport: Maintaining a Professional Online Presence
A few months ago, I discovered a great program called Rapportive to use in combination with Google Apps. Rapportive downloads in seconds and replaces the advertising along the right side of the email screen with the contact information of the sender. Essentially, Rapportive collects the sender’s social networks and neatly organizes them for your review. It’s a simple way of finding out about your contacts’ position title, place of work, or even if they have a Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or LinkedIn account. That being said, it may also present the contact in a way that does not offer the best first impression.
In today’s world, many of us have two lives to keep in order: our personal lives and our professional lives. Social media has blurred the boundaries between the two, encouraging us to monitor personal information that might be available to employers or potential employers through social networks. We need to wonder who might be looking at our “virtual” life the minute we send an email. Thanks to Rapportive, we, as a search firm are able to help candidates polish their online presence.
As a search firm, Independent Thinking works with schools and candidates throughout the independent school world. We do our best to learn and know our candidates, and we also coach candidates on how best to represent themselves throughout their search. Social media has impacted our work in significant ways with tools like Rapportive helping us do our job. When candidates email us, we are able to view their social networking footprint. Many times the sender’s social networks appear along with a profile picture. Recently, a sender’s information was displayed and the picture profile used was captured from the individual’s Twitter account. The picture was not flattering and while I wouldn’t think twice about it outside of a work environment, the picture could be damaging if the candidate’s future or current employer discovered it on Google. Thus, Rapportive enables us to quickly alert candidates to clean up their online profile.
Like many people, I struggle with the balance between old school and new. At IT, we endeavor to stay current but remind ourselves of the human approach to doing business. Rapportive is one tool that helps keep that balance.
Photo Credit: Rapportive image from Google apps