Anyone looking to know more about someone can easily search for more information about them on the internet. Potential employers, business partners and investors are highly likely to check your online profile. You need to make sure your online details show you in a favorable light, even if it only for them. Their first impression of you, whether or not it’s accurate or outdated, will determine if they’ll hire you or not.
Here’s what you can do to ensure your reputation online an excellent one:
1. Check yourself on search engines
You can use different search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Just type in your name and do a search. Be sure to log out of your account so that the website will be set to a public profile and you can view what others see when they search for your name.
Although it’s a good thing if nothing bad appears in connection to your name; however, if absolutely nothing of importance appears, then your potential boss or client will not know enough about you. They might be unconvinced to hire you.
2. Check your public profile on social networks
Next, do the same kind of search on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. Again, make sure you’re not logged in to your account and just do a quick search to see what turns up for your name. Another way is to log in to your account and then choose the option view your profile as public. You’ll then be able to see how your profile looks like to others.
3. Delete any unflattering image or page
It doesn’t happen often, but some people have experienced others using their name to create fake accounts or sites and posting items that are embarrassing or illegal. If you see this or any suspicious activity on someone else’s site or page, you can ask the search engine to exclude the page from their search results. Most, if not all search engines, also have a process for submitting complaints or feedback.
4. Delete negative posts
The best thing to do for your social network accounts is to check all your previous posts one by one and delete anything that you don’t want the public to see. You may also change your profile to Private.
On Facebook, for example, you have the option to choose who can see your posts, whether it’s just your friends or the general public. You have to be even more careful on Twitter as it’s easy to find your profile if your handle is your real name. LinkedIn is also very important, as this is the leading social network used by professionals.
5. Enhance your social network account profiles
If you haven’t done so yet, update your profile to reflect your recent positions, tasks and responsibilities. Highlight any achievements you have, but make sure to keep it accurate. LinkedIn, especially, is best for work and career-related posts and professional development, as well as for giving more details about your professional experience. You can also use your other social network accounts to promote your interests especially those which show any skills you have.
6. Join sites or groups
Sign up for groups in your field, industry or profession. This is an excellent opportunity not only for mentioning this on your profile but also to learn from other individuals and be part of a supportive community. At the same time, you’ll have access to more information about relevant training programs, seminars and other events.
Another good idea is to join sites that can help you practice and improve your skills. Sites like Canva are great for learning to make presentations for example; or if you belong to the photography or design industry, you can set up an account with Flickr.
7. Create an online portfolio
You can also opt to create your own personal website with your own domain. The best part is it’s actually not that hard to do at all! Find an affordable but trusted hosting provider. This is not free but it is a worthy investment.
Aside from being a good way to promote yourself, having your own domain also provides you with your own email address which looks professional and impressive when you respond to employers and clients. Don’t forget to include links to all your accounts and portfolios whenever you send emails.
8. Create video content
Some people are put off by going the extra mile online and putting up video content, but with the explosion live streaming, popularity of YouTube and affordability of basic video camera equipment, there really is no reason not to get in on the video boom! Video content gives you a massive edge online so 2017 really is the year to get started posting video content to enhance your online image.
9. Be on guard and on your best behavior from now on!
Finally, remember to be careful of whatever you decide to post on your accounts or sites. If you wouldn’t want anyone to see it, don’t post it. Even if you delete it, others might have already seen it and quoted you. Keep in mind that it’s best to keep a good online relationship with others, so watch your words when you comment on their posts.
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