Spring Cleaning Your Online Profile

March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Spring has sprung and for many people it’s time to clean out closets or burn their winter socks. It’s also a great time to do a check up on your online presence and make sure it’s working at its best for you! When using social media professionally, here are a few things that you should consider:

Understand which social media site is best suited for you professionally – many employers are using FaceBook now to find new employees. If you are using FaceBook for personal use, it doesn’t mean you have to give it up. It may make you more genuine and approachable. But refining your language, highlighting content and information that’s more career-focused can be beneficial.

Understanding the meaning of networking (connections) – It’s not just how they can help you but can help them! Building a relationship through interactions, conversation and support will help you in the end.

It can help you find a job – Nearly every social networking site post loads of job opportunities. You too can reach out to your network to say that you are looking for employment, but be specific on what type of employment you are looking for. Less obvious, but perhaps more effective, is the ability to connect directly to the brands you’d love to work for, as well as the people behind those brands. Following and interacting with company’s pages on Facebook, following blogs or Twitter can help you gain expose to job openings before they go public!

Cleaning up your Social Media

Today, recruiters routinely Google search candidates before they contact them. Be sure to do a Google search on your name and images to see if there is any digital dirt. If there is some digit dirt that needs cleaning up here are a few resources:

  • TwitWipe (www.twitwipe.com) is one tool that will help you erase all of your tweets, but not your user I.D.
  • Facebook, the Exfoliate app (www.exfoliateapp.com) will help you remove old posts comments, and “Likes” in batches of up to three year periods from you and your friends walls.
  • Search for “Google’s removal request tool” to clean up cached content that shows up in Google’s search results after you’ve erased it from within your account
  • Reputation Defender – (http://www.reputationdefender.com) Reputation Defender will search out all information about you on the Internet and present it to you in a clear report. Their report (MyReputation Report) includes: social networks (Myspace, Facebook, LiveJournal, and more); professional review websites; blogs; online news sources; photograph, video and audio sharing sites (Flickr, YouTube, etc.); and millions of additional Internet Sites. Note: Reputation Defender may not be able to have all of the sites remove the digital dirt. They can request that from the sites, but they cannot enforce removal. Fee

Use Common Sense

While social media has been the buzz in the last several years, the attention has created an uptick in use by those with less than noble purposes.  With that in mind, don’t check your common sense at the computer!

  • Don’t put your address on resumes you post online!
  • Be wary of friend or connect requests from people you don’t actually know.
  • Verify information received via other external sources such as visiting a company’s website or googling to verify contact you have received.
  • Use the same rules you use for emails – don’t click on unsolicited links or download attachments in messages that you weren’t expecting or don’t know the sender.
  • Check your company’s policy on social network use for guidance.
  • Remember the information you post on these sites is out there on the internet and can be seen by anyone and the clean ups can only go so far.

Social media is a very powerful tool for your job search or for career advancement.  But with a combination of common sense and internet savvy, you can harness its power to make your next career move!

Posted by Cindy Virtue & Heather Comstock


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