Thursday, February 23, 2012

Googling Yourself: Why Should You Do It and How to Clean up Your Image



Have you ever Googled yourself?  Try it – you might be surprised by what comes up.  When I Google myself, I get 3,650,000 results of which approximately 20 are directly related to me.  The results I immediately noticed were my professional pictures, my LinkedIn account, my personal website, and a Spokeo search on me.  Seeing my professional pictures, LinkedIn account, and my personal website be among the first 10 searches was exactly what I wanted to see.  These are positive online sites about me that will enhance my professional image for recruiters and employers searching for me online.  On the other hand the Spokeo account can be a little disturbing and is something everyone should be aware of. 

Nowadays, there are sites such as Spokeo, whose purpose is to seek out intimate information about individuals including: personal addresses, phone numbers, email accounts, etc.  It is important to be aware of what personal information is on these sites and always try to minimize this information by privatizing personal social networks and acting with caution with your online presence.   

Nonetheless, Googling yourself is the first step to identifying what is online about you.  Once you know what is out there, you can minimize the negative things; and more importantly, enhance the positive things.   

MINIMIZING A NEGATIVE ONLINE PRESENCE
  1. Scrutinize anything personal online, including your posts on Facebook and Twitter.
  2.  Don’t post ANYTHING you could potentially be embarrassed about – once it’s online it’s hard to really remove it forever. 
  3. Screen your friends’ postings about you (this can be customized in your account and privacy settings).
  4. Separate your personal and professional online presence by not linking the two together and privatizing your personal account. 

ENHANCING A POSITIVE ONLINE PRESENCE
  1. Create at least one professional online profile (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Personal Website, Info-graphic Resume, LinkedIn, etc.).
  2. Quality over quantity:  Just because there are many social networking sites to choose from, doesn't mean you have to be on all of them.  It’s better to master one and then move on to more social media sites rather than be on all sites and not put that much effort into them.
  3. Sign up  for a LinkedInProfile.  
  4.  Although you don’t want to completely privatize your professional profiles (since you want people to see it), make sure you don’t put personal addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses online unless you don’t mind the whole world having access to that information.
  5.  Consistently update your statuses.  Social media won’t be useful if you don’t make an effort to update your profiles and engage with other people on the social networks.
For more information about creating a professional online presence visit the following web pages:
  1. Create an Online Presence 
  2. Leverage Social Media 
  3. Linkin’It Up  Presentation
How to Market Yourself Through Social Networking
In light of our ever-changing technological society, the Peer Career Advisers facilitate an innovative workshop to share resources and opportunities to market yourself using social media. The workshop will focus on the primary social media tools and how to incorporate a professional edge when using these sites. The first half of the workshop will review best practices for Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and personal/professional websites to further your knowledge on the sites and how to use them to attract employers. The second half of the program will focus on LinkedIn with a demonstration and thorough review of the website and its benefits for students. LinkedIn is the primary professional networking site and is extremely useful and easy to use. Linkin’It Up is a great way to keep up with new digital media and learn how to adequately market yourself in a professional manner! Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to follow along for a hands-on learning experience.

Written by Brittany Moore