Managing Your Online Reputation
Managing your online reputation in today's world is more important than ever. Whether you are a LinkedIn maven, a Word Press fanatic, or you launch Facebook more times a day than you'd rather admit, odds are you've joined the social media revolution.
As these sites gain in popularity, it is important that you remain vigilant about the content you're accessing or producing, say the recruiting experts at America's Job Exchange. Call it "policing your online image." This ensures that employers and peers aren't reading items or articles that could damage your personal brand.
While it's impossible to control every aspect of your online brand, there are some ways you can regulate your own PR. Also, if you are currently in job search mode, monitoring your online brand is more important than ever.
Here are some tips for maintaining your online integrity:
- Always keep updated on privacy settings and know your controls. Did you know that Facebook changes its privacy settings regularly? Oftentimes users remain blissfully unaware of these changes until applications or people not in your sphere of friends unwittingly access your account. Check Facebook often for updates and keep a close eye out on your own checked off settings. Make sure your wall, photos, and other personal content can only be accessed by friends that you have accepted and are not viewable by outside parties.
- Remember that you are the sum total of your network, and you will be viewed as such by employers. If you connect with a lot of people who post racy content and photos, you won't be immune to their influence. If you want to keep your profile cleansed of damaging material, consider removing these kinds of connections.
- Try to 'outrank' bad press. If you Google yourself and find some embarrassing material, know that you can't delete it, but you can take steps to bury it. Ask the offending party if they would please remove the content. If they refuse, take matters into your own hands. If you blog, blog regularly, post photos, comment on other sites, and soon the content will disappear down the ranks of the search engines. But also know that you are not perfect, and your struggle to maintain your online brand will stay just that: a struggle. We can't remove everything, but we can strive to keep a balance.
- Set up a Google alert for yourself. That way you always know when something crops up, good or bad, and you can take measures to deal with it immediately before the damage is done.
- Tap into the power of the web to become a fierce online brand vigilante. There are multiple services to assist you when it comes to policing your brand, including MonitorThis, Technorati, and Naymz. These services ensure you're aware of everything being said and posted about you.