I have created this blog to save you from yourself. I know many of you are asking me, what is this guy talking about? Well, what I am talking about is cleaning up your social life from employers and other professionals alike from finding all those embarrassing drunken photo’s you have posted all over your Facebook page. Time and time again you see on the news how some poor sole lost their job or did not get a job because the first thing there boss did was search their Facebook page or other social media sites and found all that incriminating evidence. So here is exactly what you need to do in order to make yourself appear as professional as possible when people are looking you up.
1. Google yourself
I know most people don’t think of this but it is true, Google yourself. You will be amazed at what is out there with your name on it! The last thing you want is someone to find out something that happened to you years ago which could potentially damage your reputation. I know managing your online identity can be a challenging one but, the good news is there are plenty of resources out there to help you keep this in order. For instance, Google has a feature that allows you to set up alerts when someone has viewed one of your social profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. The best part is you can manage all of this at one location, track who has searched you, and control what they are linked to. Now that we have a good start on finding what is out there on the internet with your name on it, the next thing to do is clean up your social profiles.
2. Keeping your social profiles professional
I know this can be a very challenging task when many of us have multiple social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to keep track of. My advice is to keep all these sites consistent to what type of image or reputation you want for yourself. If you have comments, blogs, or photos that are inappropriate get rid of them. The last thing you want is someone to go onto your profile page and see pictures of you drunk at a bar. Your friends may love it and think its cool but, the boss who is potentially going to hire for a job probably doesn’t think it is to professional and it might actually keep you from getting hired. I know we are all human and have pictures or comments that were just meant for family or friends, I am just saying try to keep things as professional and consistent as possible. Your friends and family are not the only ones checking out your Facebook page these days.
Well hopefully this blog post has got you thinking about what is actually out there on the internet with your name attached to it. In this day in age it is all about who, what, when, and how we are all connected with each other. I understand it is hard to manage all of these sites at times but do your best to remain as professional as possible, you never know who is searching your name. In addition to my blog post, here is a good website to visit: 5 Ways to Clean Up Your Social Media Identity.
Scott Steinbacher is a Professional Writing student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He is majoring in Health Sciences and minoring in Public Health.