Your image, your reputation, and even your integrity can be easily compromised and possibly destroyed by poor judgment and the click of a button.
Today because of social media, we share comments, photos, articles and more with virtually everyone we know every day. And we often do this without thinking about any consequences.
If you care about your reputation, are serious about your career or simply want to keep the job you have, it’s time to think about your online presence and learn how to manage it. Wouldn’t you rather be proactive now than find out later that there is information detrimental to your image that is circulating? Worse, you could share your name with someone who has a terrible online reputation.
Here are some tips to help preserve and maintain a positive online presence:
Google your name every few weeks to see what information appears about you.
Get rid of any inappropriate photos, comments or content that doesn’t support a positive impression.
If your name is common or is the same as someone who has a questionable image, distinguish yourself. Add your middle initial, full middle name or maiden name. If you have a suffix like Sr., M.D. or Esquire, use it. It will help eliminate confusion.
If you are going through the job search process and find your name is associated with an unsavory character, then be prepared to share this knowledge with your interviewer. You don’t want them to find this information after the interview and mistakenly attribute it to you.
Complete your online profiles in LinkedIn, Twitter, Google + or any other social media outlet you use.
You don’t need to share everything. No, really you don’t. Too much information (or better known as TMI) is an image killer.
Think about how you want to be perceived on the Web. Do you want to be known for your social life or your professional accomplishments and community work?
If the thought of public office even remotely appeals to you, start managing your image now. Once content is posted on the internet it is permanent and accessible. Content can be hidden or taken down but there are always ways to access it.
Manage your privacy settings on all your social media outlets and check the policies periodically as they often change. Especially Facebook.
Sometimes common sense isn't so common. Think before you share! You’ll be happy you did.