Thursday, March 3, 2011

Manage Your Online Presence

References are becoming a thing of the past and employers are using the internet to discover information about you. Conducting a Google search and looking at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are now common practices for pre-screening personnel. Employers are looking for your “digital dirt” or unfavorable photos, videos, or information posted on the internet.

As an employee or a job seeker, you must manage your online presence. Do you post on Facebook during work hours, are you pictured in an inebriated state, or do you post inappropriate or unprofessional statements? These are all considerations as you use these tips to take care of your digital dirt.

Actively Research Your Online Presence
Your first step is to conduct an online search by typing your name into the major search engines such as,, and Evaluate what you find about you in the first three to five pages and ask yourself what image these items represent to your current or potential employer.

Take a Proactive Approach to Cleaning up Your Online Image
Go to all your online social networking sites and critically evaluate your profile, your posts, and what your friends have posted about you. Search these sites to see where you have been tagged on your friends’ postings. Ask friends to remove unprofessional information or photos. Manage your privacy settings on your accounts, but don’t rely on them to protect your image.

Cover the Negative with Positives
You will build credibility and erase negative information by posting positive professional information. While the internet can be detrimental to your career if mismanaged, it can also be a boost if used properly. Craft a thoughtful and well-written book review of the latest book in your industry, create a blog, develop your own website, answer questions on LinkedIn, or write online articles as an expert in your industry. If you have a website, increase the number of links to your site which will increase your ranking in popular search engines.

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