Managing Your Online Reputation
When using social media and online networking tools, realize that your online persona will shape others’ opinions and perceptions of you — personally and professionally. That makes sound judgment and a smart posting strategy a career essential.
Social Sites and Your Job Search
Employers may search for you online as part of a standard background check. This includes blogs, Facebook profiles, Twitter updates and other sites. Make sure you like what they find.
Maintain a positive, professional presence.
With the basics established, you can take steps to enhance your social presence.
- Take action. If you find something damaging, try to have it removed.
- Enhance privacy. Use Facebook privacy settings to ensure that non-employer-friendly data, posts and photos are not viewable on your public profile.
- Clean up. Regularly review your profile and delete inappropriate posts or photos before they put a job application or your reputation at risk.
Curate and monitor.
Keep track of your image. Questions such as “Are you findable?” and “Does your branding fit with your target organization?” are important when managing how you use social media. See where you stand:
- Google Alerts: Monitors where your name is turning up in searches
- OnlineID Calculator: Measures the consistency of your personal brand
- Klout: Assesses your level of social influence
8 Tips to Remember
As you think about your social presence from a career perspective, these tips from the Princeton University Data Privacy Campaign are worth noting.
- Remember, what you post online becomes public information. It is no longer under your control.
- Be strategic about what you share with the world. Consider the long term.
- Think before you post. Today’s rant, practical joke or flame may come back to haunt you.
- Think before you pose. Your private video, photo or Snapchat may go public.
- Regularly review your contacts, circles, friends and followers. They may not be your BFFs.
- Understand your privacy settings and terms of service. Service providers often change terms.
- Monitor your name online. Google yourself and set alerts to avoid surprises.
- Protect your online reputation and create your personal brand. Your future will thank you.