Your digital footprint can make a lasting impression

Five ways to manage you online presence.Fair or not, how well you protect your name and personal brand online can play a big role in determining your success Рjust ask shamed Youth Police Commissioner Paris Brown.

Not too long ago I watched a “Facebook ruined my life” themed documentary. It was entertaining for the most part but as the stories got more ridiculous all I kept thinking was, “how dare you blame Facebook?!”.

The internet doesn’t come with a zero-accountability clause. We are all responsible for our online actions and the end result, which is why it’s important to “police” your presence.

Here are 5 easy ways to make sure that what people find when searching your name online is the best representation of you:

  1. LOCK DOWN YOUR FACEBOOK PUBLIC PROFILE check your privacy settings.
  2. Proof read your status updates before hitting the send button. If you’re having a “dear diary” moment write it in a diary, not on the internet.
  3. Set up a LinkedIn profile – if properly maintained, your profile should be served as one of the top search results for your name (Google+ can be used for the same thing).
  4. Set up Google Alerts for mentions of your name in online publications and articles. Do your best to report (and have removed) anything out of the ordinary, or, in worst-case scenario, prepare yourself for any awkward questions.
  5. Blogs and forums – make a list of any blogs you have, or have contributed to in the past. Go through them and make sure they still fit with the person you are and the direction you intend to be going in. Again, if it’s not looking too good, prepare your defense for any awkard questions.

Something to think about

In 2012, 92 per cent* of companies were using social media networks for recruiting, and 70 per cent** of all vacancies (UK) were advertised online. It is logical to assume that while recruiters and hiring managers are scanning your purposely setup profile (LinkedIn, Google+ etc), they will also trawl the rest of the web to see what comes up about you.


*Figure taken from: Jobvite Social Recruitment Survey 2012

**Figure taken from: Recruitment stats for summer 2012, net-recruit.co.uk