In times past, someone had to actually meet you in person to get any idea of who you were. With the advances of technology, anyone can access information about you at the click of a button. This notion may sound a little invasive and even creepy. However, when you have the right information available for potential employers to see, you won’t be caught off guard. Social media has a way of making you want to post every detail of your life for all to see: the good, the bad, and the ugly. For the sake of your career and reputation, keep the bad and the ugly things you share to a minimum. Here are some tips on how to clean up your online presence for your career.
For starters, in order to clean up your act, you need to see what others see when they search your name. Log out of your Google account before you do the search. If your search turns up empty, this is neither a good or bad thing. However, you want to leave an impression on your searchers, whether it be a potential employer or colleague. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be viewed two ways; when you’re logged out and when you’re logged in and view yourself “as public.” These two methods should give you a good idea of what others see with an intentional search and if they happen upon your profile.
Scrub Your Image Clean
If you find any results that are less than perfect, you need to get rid of it. The last thing you want to do is have to explain to a potential employer about embarrassing or derogatory pictures they may find.
Google: Simply submit a request to remove any pages that contain the bad information. The content must meet certain criteria in order to be removed. Other search engines, such as Bing, also have a takedown request process.
Facebook: This site allows you to limit visibility through the privacy settings. Although some content on Facebook may be beyond your control, you can un-tag yourself from photos so that they don’t appear on your wall.
Twitter: Although you can make your profile private, others can still quote and respond to your publicly. Keep your tweets clean to lower the risks of mishaps and misunderstandings.
LinkdIn: Ensure that your profile is complete so that searchers can get all the information they need. Any articles you post need to be relevant and fitting to who you are.
Pump Up the Positive
Make your online presence pop by enhancing social media and using a nameplate site. Add your hobbies and interest to profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Make sure all of your photos are flattering and respectful on all of your social media accounts. Make your own album of you hard at work in class, on an internship, or volunteering. Make a site that will showcase all things you. Your nameplate site is like a virtual resume that offers much more than a single piece of paper. Sites like Seelio are ideal for students to display their skills although there may not be much work experience. If you want to step it up a notch, own your own domain. Post projects you have worked on or events that you have attended relating to your education and career. Using your domain as your email is a great way to look professional and drive newcomers to view all at the same time.
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