Managing Your Online Reputation

First Impressions Happen Before You Walk in the Door

With the growth of social networking platforms, the World Wide Web has turned into a popularity contest that pits you against others. No longer is your first impression governed by the suit you wear for an interview, or the strength of your handshake.  Potential employers are checking out applicants online in social media.

Your online image is made up of everything about you that exists online. The range of materials that could potentially impact your online reputation is broader than you might realize. Here are just some components of your online image:

  • Your profiles
  • Your comments
  • Other’s comments or posts about you
  • Your pictures and videos
  • Your posts
  • Geolocation information that you broadcast

Creating a good online identity is becoming indispensable in today’s world. What you once thought was your private online information may not really be as private as you thought. Having a bad online reputation can kill your potential jobs, business, or even relationships without you ever having the chance to say a single word in your own defense. Students who pay attention to their online reputation and “personal brand” throughout college will have a natural advantage in the job market upon graduation, regardless of their course of study.

Create a Positive Online Reputation

  • Ego Surf.  It may sound vain, but search for your name on a regular basis so that you know what your online profile looks like.
  • Sign up for Google Alerts. It monitors your content and alerts you if anything is posted about you.
  • Surround your name with good things. Make sure that your posts including pictures and videos don’t say negative things about you.
  • Choose wisely when posting and commenting. If there are threads on Facebook or Twitter that sound interesting, think first before joining the conversation.  Comments made today could affect you negatively in the future. If you make comments, make sure it reflects positively on you.
  • State your values and principles. In your blogs, accounts, or websites, state what values and principles you and your business have.

For more information on creating and managing a good online reputation, read our Online Reputation Guide.