Your Internet Presence
Virtually everyone today has an Internet presence. If for some reason you do not; you will attract as much attention as you would with a poor Internet presence. What story does your Internet presence tell people?
Have you ever taken the time to Google your name, enter it on Yahoo, or Bing? You must do this; you must know what is on the Internet pertaining to you! Go to Google.com and type in your name, press the enter key, and see what comes up. Are you happy with the result? Are you seeing, and therefore a recruiter or hiring manager seeing, what you would like them to see?
What Is Unacceptable Information
Things that are unacceptable include:
- Pictures that show you in compromising situations.
- Inappropriate language or posting from you or your friends.
- Pictures or stories that include you in illegal activities, even as basic as under age drinking.
- Discussions and stories that are derogatory to you or others.
- Negative comments you have made about employers, businesses, other people
- Negative comments about teachers, managers, supervisors, and other authority figures.
- Insulting or disparaging comments about friends and associates.
Any of these items can be the negative that causes the recruiter or hiring manager to reject you as an employee. This is not discrimination, this is just business. Businesses cannot afford to hire employees that may bring discredit on the business, negative attention, or other adverse effects.
What employees and prospective employees bring to the business can be critical to the business success. You, as an employee, must bring positives; not negatives.
How Do You Clean Up Your On-Line Presence?
Cleaning up your on-line presence starts with your Social Networking. You need to remove any photos or information that is negative. If you started the discussion, you can delete the entire discussion. If you commented on a discussion, you can remove your comments. If you have friends or connections that are offensive you can unfriend or remove them.
Take the offensive information out of your on-line presence and do it now!
What If Your Removal Offends Your Friend or Friends
If the postings of friends and connections is negative, you can ask them to change their behavior because it jeopardizes your opportunities. If they are unwilling to help you, then they truly are not very good friends and you are probably better off without them.
If you are serious about having a good on-line reputation, then you must think of yourself first and make the necessary choices. Obviously your goal is not to hurt others or their feelings, but it is to ensure that you are presented in a positive light.
After the Clean Up
Once you have cleaned up those things that you can; what is left? If you still have negative or derogatory information, what can you do to eliminate or at least mitigate the impact.
One way is to create positive Internet articles related to you. Participate in events or organizations that generate positive information and get involved. Join organization boards, involve yourself in civic activities, write your own blog articles, comment on popular blogs and leave your name, join LinkedIn, Facebook, and other Social Networking sites that receive high search engine rankings. Build your connections and friends lists which will raise your rankings. Create a Google Profile, put positive postings and videos on YouTube.
If you have many negatives associated with a Social Networking profile, delete the profile and start over.
What If the Negatives Are from Someone with the Same Name?
If you are being haunted by someone with the same name that has negative information; do not despair, you can address that as well.
Some of the steps you can take include:
- Post a consistent professional picture with all of your profiles.
- Use your middle initial, middle name, maiden name, nickname, or something else that will differentiate you.
- Create an Internet Gravatar (picture) that can be used for postings on sites where you cannot add your picture.
- Change your reference on your sites to a consistent name. Use the username function on Facebook, the change profile name on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., to capture your identity. Choose a name combination that no one else is using.
Cut, purge, erase, delete, replace, create, post, comment, participate, and do any other positive things you can to recreate your on-line profile in a positive manner.