Photo by: Borghetti
Online reputation management is a topic worthy of attention. You never know when the next opportunity will come knocking. The days of searching Monster for resumes or posting an open position to Craigslist for a quick response is over.
Now we use social networks, social bookmarking, blogs, and Google to find out about the people we are interested in connecting with and personal online reputation management becomes much more important. Don't think for a second a recruiter or hiring manager isn't at the very least using Google to find out about you. The results could get you the job or could cost you the job.
When I started my career in staffing, we didn't have this luxury. We lived with the phone to the ear. I had an dial-up AOL connection that only one person could be on the "computer with internet" at a time. Online profiles didn't exist. Google what?
Thankfully, those days are over. It's now easier than ever to profile potential candidates based on their Google results and online profiles in social networking sites (Note: That doesn't mean my job is easy! It's just a starting point). This means what we find should be very important to you.
So what does this mean for you?
Keep in mind your personal information trail. When you post something online, there is a record of it... somewhere. A simple search of one's Facebook wall or Twitter user name gives you a pretty quick snapshot of what the person is like. That doesn't mean you can't be yourself, actually I think it's important to be yourself online. But when the conversation gets a little too personal, it might be a good time to take it offline.
Learn to use the privacy filters in Facebook. Maybe you have one of those crazy friends who thinks it's hilarious to post pictures that might compromise your professional image. With use of privacy filters, you can limit individuals or groups of friends from viewing certain content so it doesn't reach them before you realize it's online.
Keep active a professional email address (and Instant Messenger). This can be a Gmail, Yahoo, etc. Your name or some version of it is best. SexyPRchickinNYC@____.com tells me a little too much. You laugh, but I have lists and lists of these real emails. They stay in my funny files for the moment I need a quick giggle. Seriously though, this goes for innocent emails too. Just keep it simple and professional.
Still on topic, but more about building your personal brand, I recommend taking a look at Chris Brogan's 15-page E-book. It's a quick, easy read that I know I will be very helpful with the launch of this blog. You can get a free copy here Lords of Dogtown movies Little Big Man move .
Brian Solis also wrote a 3-part series Socialization of you Personal Brand.