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Your Online Image Matters!       By Sandra Long

Give yourself the Google Test. What do you find when you enter your name in Google? A lot will depend on how common your name is.  If it’s very common you may need to enter in your school or hometown in order to complete the search. Unique names are particularly easy to locate online.Your Online Image Matters

You may also want to create a Google alert so you will receive periodic updates on any on-line activity associated with your name.  Your prospective employers are very likely to check you through a search engine and probably also in Facebook and other social media sites.  And why not? It’s public information and they need to make the very best hiring decisions possible. Another place to look is socialmention.com which will highlight where your name appears on social media sites.

If you find content that is unprofessional, you can take action. Unprofessional content would include:

  • Bad language
  • Photos of drinking or drug use
  • Risqué attire
  • Posts that are derogatory towards others
  • Posts that complain about a boss or company
  • Tags or posts that make you look incompetent or lazy or disrespectful of others

 Remove the Negative: Steps you can take to remove negative content:

  1. Deactivate old sites or social media platforms that you no longer use or keep current. Also if you don’t have time to manage a particular site, take it down.
  2. Remove posts or content that you created or posted that is unprofessional.
  3. For Facebook- check wall posts and “delete” or “untag” as necessary. Go to Facebook photos tab and  use the “remove tag” link below any offensive photos.
  4. For Twitter - Check your Twitter tweets and delete inappropriate posts. 
  5. Find content that others posted about you and ask them to delete.
  6. Understand and use appropriate privacy settings for all social media sites. 

Build the Positive: You can overcome negative mentions and content by building and enhancing very positive and comprehensive online content. The new positive content will eventually move up higher via the search engines.  

  1. Create a LinkedIn profile that is 100% complete. LinkedIn will indicate if your profile is complete or not. Include links if possible and keep active.  Make sure that you set your profile as open to the public.
  2. Create a Google + profile that is 100% complete. Include links to LinkedIn and other relevant sites. Make sure the profile is “public” and only use for professional purposes.
  3. Create your own website or blog or online portfolio. There are now free and low cost ways to do so. Link to Google + and LinkedIn and other professional sites. 

Learn How to Implement this strategy: Consider logging on and signing up for GROVO for online training and video tutorials. On this platform, you will quickly and easily learn how to make the optimal changes to your online profile. Consider taking these classes offered by Grovo:

  • Managing your online reputation
  • Netiquette
  • Facebook Privacy
  • LinkedIn Profile 

What is your strategy to manage your professional online identity?


© Copyright 2013-2014. Sandra Long. All rights reserved.

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