Cleaning Up Your Online Presence
When you are the owner of a business, someone in the career transition industry, or a person in an upper management position, it’s essential to maintain an appropriate image online. Creating a healthy online presence is paramount to winning your customers’ trust, impressing employees with your personal brand, and growing your network.
If you haven’t kept a close eye on how you are perceived online, you may have let some things slip through the cracks. When this happens, you will want to rework your online image to better align with your job search targeting. Here are some tips you can use to help clean it up.
Keep a Record of All Your Accounts
Initially, create a list of your online accounts, including social media pages like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You may have posted on them in the early days of those sites, but if they have been idle and forgotten long ago, they could be a problem. While those pages are still active, they could put you at risk of cyber-attacks. Additionally, if folks can leave comments and no one has moderated them, unprincipled individuals are free to post what they want about you. Shut these accounts down if possible.
Check the Security Settings and Past Posts
While reviewing your social media accounts, you must ensure that you have not inadvertently compromised confidential data or gone against the company ethos. First, review posts you may have made in your younger days. As a wise sage once told me, holding up a cellphone, “The internet is forever!’. You should reconsider the wording and images used in your posts and delete anything that may be inappropriate, offensive, or divisive.
Also, it’s a clever idea to determine whether your details have been compromised in the past. Make sure that you have appropriate security settings selected for your accounts. You can refer to a resource like HaveIBeenPwned to discover whether any data breaches have impacted your accounts. You’ll want to reset your passwords as quickly as possible if they have.
Search Yourself Online
Once you have reviewed and addressed issues on your social media pages, the next step is conducting an online search. Start with Google, but to see if you flag up on different search engines, it’s best to check as many as you can. For example, on sites like Public Records Reviews, there is plenty of publicly available information, including speeding tickets, criminal findings, DUI records, and divorce court records. If you want to ensure that your history is dirt-free and that there are no errors that can come back to haunt you, use this tool to help. Public Records Reviews functions like a search engine in that you only need a first and last name and your last known location.
Don’t Be Afraid to Completely Change Your Pages
If you have gone through significant career growth and personal development, the new you may be nothing like the old you. Don’t hesitate to delete pages altogether and start from scratch. Are you embarking on a career transition? In that case, you should have a professional resume created, and have a career strategist with social media expertise design a LinkedIn page that projects the specific brand you are now portraying. Think carefully about how you want to come across in professional settings. For example, if you are an expert in your field, you can direct attention to this by sharing links to any blogs or articles you have written, or that you find beneficial. Additionally, you should consider becoming involved in industry-related discussions and forums.
Don’t Forget – You Are Allowed a Personal Life!
While you are busy working to ensure your business presence and professional reputation are nothing but perfect, try not to make it too sterile. You need to remain professional, but potential hiring managers and peers need to see that you are a human, not just a robot. You can add some personal images, but ensure you aren’t revealing too many details. Adding personality to your profiles helps when it comes to networking and making valuable connections.
So, if you are worried about how your online image appears or have overlooked it completely, use these tips to help!
The reality of today’s online digital landscape is that your online profiles (including social media accounts, email accounts, dating profiles, and online reviews) are a personal and professional extension of yourself.
Roughly 80% of future employers Google a prospective employee’s name before interviewing and hiring them; while 95% percent of all talent acquisition professionals use LinkedIn or another professional networking platform to research candidates before engaging them professionally.
With the job market saturated with quality candidates, due in large part to the ‘Great Resignation,’ the stakes are high when obtaining a job interview, let alone being hired. As a result, you must pay close attention to your online presence and digital footprint!
Written By: Michael Schumacher, Senior Career Strategist
Michael is one of our accomplished Senior Career Strategists who brings over two decades of experience in the career transition industry to ECP.
He is known for motivating and coaching clients while never losing sight of their individualism, personal situations, or specific objectives.
In addition to coaching clients toward success during their job search, Michael is also a talented writer who is knowledgeable about today’s industry trends.