Whether you are employed or actively seeking work this year, now is the time to do a little online housekeeping. How long has it been since you took a look at the image you are projecting through your web presence?
I’m sharing a few tips below to get you started; as you move through the list, you may find that there is more work to be done (time well spent).
- Start with Google – Take a close look at the results you find when searching your name. Page one is especially important, but don’t stop there if you have multiple blogs and social media profiles. Look beyond webpage results by clicking on the Google “images” tab in the search results. What do you see? If you find there is a warrant for your arrest or an unattractive mug shot of someone by your name, consider using an alternative of your name, such as Katherine instead of Katy, use your middle name in addition to your name, or drop your first name completely. Whatever it takes to remove your identity from your Bonnie and Clyde counterpart.
- Update your LinkedIn profile – I personally do not utilize LinkedIn as often as many of my business associates. It’s a personal preference, but if I were actively looking for a job, I would definitely opt for LinkedIn over Facebook. My daughter works for a recruiting company and she finds many of her most skilled and educated candidates on LinkedIn. Take a moment to make sure your bio and job history are both up-to-date. How long has it been since you searched for new business contacts on the network? A recommendation or two never hurts as well.
- Keep your profile photos professional – It may be time to refresh your profile photo(s) on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your blog. Don’t overlook your Pinterest profile, either. Anyplace you have a smiling face, make sure it’s the face you want others to see. Use caution when allowing others to photograph you and tag you on their own profiles. You can’t control what they say and it may be viewed by corporate eyes. Of course, you’ll want to mind your photo-tagging manners on Facebook as well (refer to my post here).
- Review your Facebook privacy settings – I recommend setting your profile to “private” and carefully reviewing your profile settings by visiting http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy.
- Tweet with intention – Your ten most recent tweets say a great deal about your personality and interests. What are you tweeting about? Be professional and upbeat and refer to my Twitter Tips for Job Seekers post here.
- Evaluate your blog – If you publish a blog, make sure you are updating it regularly and the content is current and timely. If it’s the second week in January and you still have up Fall-related content, it would be a good idea to take some time to attend to blog details. If your blog has been stagnant for several months and you have no desire to keep it going, take it down and concentrate on something where you can put your time and energy to good use.
- Provide future employers with multiple options to contact you – If they found you via LinkedIn or your blog, make sure your contact information is up-to-date and easy to locate. If you say you live in New York and your website has a Los Angeles address, it may be a bit confusing to someone considering you for a job in a particular location.
- Leverage your networks – You’ve put countless hours, maybe even years, into a solid web presence. If you’re out of work, don’t hesitate to reach out to key business contacts via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to let them know you’re looking to advance your career. Ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of something and pass your information along to those who may be in need of your expertise. If you have built strong relationships with your social media contacts, chances are good that someone in your network will provide a great reference or will want to consider you for a position themselves.
Carefully manage the time you spend online and remember to keep future employers top-of-mind as you tweet, post and update. You are only one post away from a great job or an escort to the door.