Maintaining a Positive Online Presence Kathleen E. High, M. Ed. Education & Career Consultant Dream Chasers & Goal Setters
Why Worry About Your Online Presence? • Online Presence gives others an impression of you • Once information is online, anyone can access it • Online information is difficult to remove • People judge you for what they find: • Employers • Colleges • Prospective dates • Family, friends and other social groups • Financial – loan processors, etc. • If you are not online, you may be perceived as ‘technologically illiterate’ • 50-80% of today’s 2-year-olds have an online presence • Experts expect Online Presence to replace résumés in 10 years • Posting someone else’s private information could result in legal problems.
Imagine: • You are the: • Boss • Hiring Manager • Teacher • College Recruiter • Parent • Pastor/Clergy • Mortgage Loan Agent • How would you respond to the following posts? • http://www.chacha.com/topic/facebook/gallery/2047/dumbest-facebook-status-updates
What Other People SeeIn Your Behavior Addicted?
What is “Online Presence”? • Social Networking (personal and professional) • Photos and videos • Professional email address • Web domains – Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. • There are age-related stereo types about who uses what email server • Blogs – posting & responding • Personal Branding • Visual appeal (graphic design) • Additional items: • Voice Mail • Text messaging
Current Trends/Controversies Big Picture: • Social Networking is a new phenomenon that is growing very rapidly • Trends and technology come and go • Can’t anticipate problems that will result from new activities such as social networking • Laws have not caught up with technology • Too much “private” information is readily available through an online search engines and re-posts
Current Trends/Controversies Institutions’ Perspective: • Associates (employees, students, prospective employees, etc.) use online inappropriately, which affects the institution: • Embarrass or compromise the institution’s reputation • Reveal confidential information • Abuse their work time for personal use • Reveal character/integrity flaws • Use institutional resources for illegal activities • Reveals illegal activity • Want to monitor associate use (for reasons above) • Want to know if future students/employees will be a good fit • Concern that information found could make them vulnerable to lawsuits (discrimination, etc.) • Could be held liable when associate does something illegal, and they knew about it through online monitoring • Need to have “appropriate use” policies in place, but may not • Security Clearance related positions have higher standards
Current Trends/Controversies Individuals’ Perspective: • Individuals have a right to privacy. • Do they violate it by posting online? • Should employers, schools, churches, etc. have a right to monitor? • How much information should they have access to? • If yes, how do they gain access? • Should you give out your passwords to prospective employers?
What is “Personal Branding”? • Similar to product branding or company branding • A unified, consistent message and image about your personal character, professional aspirations, and what makes you stand out. • General (visual) • Consistent look (logo, color palette, fonts, layout style, etc.) • Consistent, professional photos • Tagline • Online: Social Media – multiple sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Website (including personalized domain) Email Address Blogs – Posts & Reposts • Offline: Elevator Pitch Business Cards Résumés
So What Can You Do toControl Your Online Presence? • Use social networks strategically • Search your name via Google or other search engine • Check “public records” (court documents & property ownership) Check credit rating (for certain jobs) • Use a social media search tool: • http://www.reppler.com • http://www.socialmention.com • http://pipl.com/ • http://www.reputation.com • Clean up any questionable material • Untag yourself in friends’ unflattering photos or ask them to remove • Restrict your privacy settings • Profile, Contacts, Applications & Websites, Search Engines • Have lists of friends (family, work, friends, school, etc.) • Create two Facebook (or other) Accounts • One for personal use • One for professional use • Be selective about what you post: If you don’t want your boss to know, don’t post it.
Use Social Networks Strategically • Social Networking Types - Use them strategically • Personal • Share pictures, videos and personal updates • Blogging • Be mindful of privacy settings • Business • To promote and conduct your business • Job Search • For networking and job search • Employment • To network and “brand” yourself
Develop Your “Personal Brand” • Clarify your ‘Bio statement’ • Paragraph version • 1-sentence version (Mission statement, dream job, tag line, etc.) • Identify what makes you professionally unique • Create an elevator pitch • Have at least one professional photo • Be consistent across social media sites • Images • Facts • Personal Brand “Message” • Join professional groups • Engage in professional dialogs • Comment on other professional’s posts and articles
Use Only Professional Pictures • Use Professional Photos • Current – It still looks like you, clearly shows your face • Flattering “head shot”, smiling • Well-groomed, minimal make-up & jewelry • Professional attire (interview appropriate) • Use professional photographer • Retail Portrait Studios
What If They Ask? What do you do if a current or prospective employer asks for access? • Know Your Rights • Ask for a Waiver • If Job Requires Security Clearance, Compliance is Probably Best • Know your rights. Ask for a waiver, and ask them to sign a form stating that they will be held liable for anything that happens. If its a job that requires security clearance, ask for the waiver, sign it and just let them do what they are going to do.
Resources for Creating a Positive Online Presence • Personal Branding / Professional Branding http://jobsearch.about.com/od/careeradviceresources/a/profbrand.html http://www.theworkbuzz.com/featured/marketing-your-personal-brand/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/02/14/the-first-step-to-building-your-personal-brand/2/ • Job Search Privacy Checks http://jobsearch.about.com/od/jobsearchblogs/a/privacy.htm • Presence Management Chores http://www.chrisbrogan.com/19-presence-management-chores-you-could-do-every-day/ • Hot Topics In Pre-employment Screening http://www.insidecounsel.com/2011/10/21/hot-topics-in-pre-employment-screening-part-ii • Use Social Media Tutorials http://learn.linkedin.com/training/ https://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics#