Many young professionals are finding out the advantages of using social media or the internet. They are also finding out that life in the shadows of the internet and viral sharing and is not always beneficial. In fact, some of the things they’ve posted online can harm their careers.
The photo taken at a college party? Your prospective employers may find your photos if they search, and sometimes they don’t have to search very hard. The tweet you sent while you were upset with your ex? Your colleagues may judge your character based on what they read in your online posts.
While there is no way to wipe away your online image and leave it completely clean, you can start to build a strong, professional, and positive online reputation. Here are three things you need to do to create a professional online image.
- Launch a Professional Website
Every young professional should have a professional website that serves on their online home. This is a site that you control. Your online real estate.
Social media profiles, guest blogging profiles and online images are theoretically controlled by a third-party. You are in control of your website, nobody can touch it. This is your real estate and you can determine the content and appearance.
Start by buying a domain name. Keep things short and simple. Try to get a .com domain, using your full name. If your name is taken, you can use a logical and simple appreciation. Avoid getting creative. If you’re forced to toss in too many extra words, it will look unprofessional.
This is an example of an effective website. It has a good domain name, which is the entrepreneur’s full name, however, the design is functional and visually pleasing.
- Brand Your Social Profile
Next, work on your social profiles. This requires brand building and cleanup. The first part depends on how much discretion you’ve used in the past and how long you’ve been active on social media.
You should start by cleaning your profiles. Go through your photos and get rid of those that don’t show you in a positive light. Delete the past posted statuses that may be taken the wrong way. Adjust your social media settings to restrict tagging so that it’s approval only.
After you clean your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, you should start building your LinkedIn profile suggests reputationcommunications.com. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you need to get one. This will be how employers and colleagues will locate you.
This is an example of a great LinkedIn profile. This is a company; however, it shows the elements needed for a professional profile. It has profile information, quality information, and direct links to social profiles and website. Make sure your profile doesn’t leave any blank fields.
- Attach Professional Content to Your Name
It’s important to attach content to your name. Online content is currency, in modern business. Create content that allows your voice to shine through. This will help to establish connections with individuals and companies. Cultivate relationships as soon as you can. You never know if a connection will help lead to opportunities.
The internet never forgets, that’s one of the main problems for many people. One misstep can haunt you for years. It can impact your personal life and career. You need to practice patience and discipline when it comes to building a professional online image. The information you post should benefit you and not do anything that doesn’t want to be displayed to the entire world.
Remember, everything is not negative. You don’t have to tiptoe around the internet. Take a proactive approach. You can leverage the internet to build your brand and make connections. Think about these tips and develop your approach.