Work Feature: Overexposed

Video credit: “Overexposed” (GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the 2010 Trend Micro Internet Safety Video Competition) – posted by Nicholas Chen on YouTube

Think

Work

Can your online reputation influence your career? How?

As shown in this featured video, various employers are using the Internet to perform background checks on potential hires. Employers from all disciplines are conducting thorough Internet searches on candidates, using information from professional websites, social media platforms, news articles, and the like, in an effort to determine whether the candidate is the best fit for their organization.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a job or not, it is important to maintain your presence online and practice positive Internet etiquette. Managing your online professional identity highlights the importance of personal branding, the practice of  marketing oneself based on your niche or professional goals. All publicly available information online contributes to your personal brand, and with the ever-increasing pervasiveness of online platforms, maintaining a professional brand online is equally important to managing your reputation offline.

With this in mind, how can you build a positive and meaningful brand on the web?

Think before you ink

It’s important to maintain your presence on the Internet. Employers will be looking for your social media profiles when considering you for positions at their organizations. In order to remain competitive, it’s best to have presence that’s also professional. Consider your social media profiles: perhaps some are less mature than others? It’s important that potential employers discover the right profiles—the ones that represent your professional side—when searching for you online.

Here are some tips for ensuring that your social media profiles are in order:

  • If you’re worried about your employer or potential employers seeing photos of you on Facebook, have a look at your privacy settings. Alternatively, you can also use an alias to conceal your identity. Your image, however, will still be visible despite changing your name.
  • Promote your professional social media profiles in order for these to be more visible in search results. Make sure you’ve got an updated LinkedIn account, and consider creating Twitter or Instagram accounts that demonstrate your mature side.
  • Take a survey of your existing social media profiles. Go through all your old comments, posts, and tagged pictures. Has your opinion changed on certain subjects or is this content in conflict with your professional persona?
  • If you discover something questionable in your social media past, delete it or ask to have your name removed from it.
  • Consider creating an e-portfolio that showcases your best work and attributes.
  • Check out our page on managing your online profile.

Discuss

The Digital Tattoo Project encourages critical discussion on topics surrounding digital citizenship and online identity. There are no correct answers and every person will view these topics from a different perspective.  Be sure to complete the previous sections before answering the questions.

  • What is the importance of maintaining a positive online presence?
  • How can you build and maintain a positive personal brand on the web?

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