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Put Your Best (Online) Face Forward

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When a company looks into the ‘online you’, is what they will find appropriate?

Whether you’re currently on the job hunt, or you may be in the future, your presence across social media platforms & blogs will come under scrutiny.

Are you putting your best face forward or is your online presence hurting your chances of being hired?

You have a stellar resume, letters of recommendation & your interview outfit is sharp. One look at your Facebook profile and all of that can become irrelevant.

You will be representing your company and they want to make sure you represent them well. Here are a few tips for putting your best ‘online’ face forward:

Be consistent. You are your own brand. Make sure that your image is consistent across social networks. Your LinkedIn is inherently professional but if your Facebook is a complete 180 from that image, employers will take that into consideration.

Be aware of your online footprint. Everything you put online will remain there and it will be found. Always keep in mind that even pictures you delete from your Facebook can still be found. Think twice about putting up that picture of you at the frat party. Would you want your future boss to see it?

Keep the profanity to a minimum. (Or don’t curse at all if you can). There is nothing impressive about cursing and just like you wouldn’t just drop the ‘F-bomb’ in front of your boss at work, you shouldn’t be dropping it all over your social network. Especially your Twitter feed. Your 140-characters shouldn’t be ridden with profanity. You certainly don’t want to accidentally drop the ‘F-bomb’ on your company’s Twitter feed.

Be aware of how your friends contribute to your presence. If your friends are consistently writing about how awesome it was ‘getting trashed’ on your wall, you might want to tweak your wall settings on your Facebook. When cleaning up your profile, be sure to also clean up what your friends put on there, including tagged pictures. Don’t be hesitant to untag and ask your friends to take down pictures of you from their profile as well.

Mashable has some great tips on how to clean up your Facebook.

Don’t trash-talk your previous employees. In addition to being completely unnecessary, this is very unprofessional. You shouldn’t be doing this off-line or online because it actually shines a bad light on you. The person you may be talking to could refrain from even giving you a referral because of the way you talk about your previous employees. You also never know when you might run into a previous coworker again. The rule here is simple: Don’t.

Google yourself. In order to put your best face forward, you have to be completely aware of how others see you.

What will your boss or potential employer find out about you when they hit ‘Search’? So, are you putting your best ‘online’ face forward? What other tips do you have for those active across social media?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • WashingTina March 22, 2011, 2:36 pm

    A great post, and something that I think a lot of people are simply not aware enough of. Bravo.

  • Liebchen March 22, 2011, 3:39 pm

    Honestly, I Google myself every so often just to make sure that everything is still legit. The only thing I’d change, maybe, would be the posts recapping our company softball games. I am sometimes…competitive in the field, which isn’t always my best side.

  • magnolia March 22, 2011, 4:27 pm

    i google myself twice a year, under many combinations of my name, just to be sure. my facebook profile is locked down as hard as it can be.

    that being said, though, i do have a sizable (if pseudonym-protected) online presence. i never, ever discuss work specifics on blogs or social media. ever. with those protections, i think i’ve done enough to balance responsibility and expression. if someone has a problem with the way i am in my pseudonymous writing, that’s not okay with me. it’s really just not an employer’s place to restrict speech that a) has nothing to do with them and b) can’t be traced to my name, and thus them by extension.

    this stuff is tricky.

  • Anonymous March 22, 2011, 7:37 pm

    *googles self*

    Thanks for this post, all of these are great tips. I try to refrain from bad language on my blog in case a future employer sees it. I also limit myself on what kinds of subjects I discuss on my blog.

  • Storm. Katrina Storm. March 23, 2011, 4:00 am

    I google myself periodically, and I’m pleased to say that my real name is relatively boring. My pen name, (Kat Storm) however, is slightly more entertaining. I’ve always kept my real name out of my blog, public facebook, and twitter, because I just talk about my vagina way too much.

    These are good tips for someone who doesn’t want to go through the trouble of multiple personalities, though. 😉

  • Anonymous March 27, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Google Alerts are a great way to track what’s turning up about you without the daily searches!

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