Whether you’re rich and famous or a recent grad, taking responsibility of your personal brand is something that should not be ignored. Especially if you’re just looking to enter the workforce, it’s important to know that the life you share online is just as important as the one offline.
The majority of recent grads will have a documented, online life from early teen years. In this decade, as soon as you’re born, you’ll have an online presence thanks to parents who have adapted to a very public, way of sharing. That being said, it’s important to be conscious of what kind of presence you have and when possible, take control of it.
Here are some tips and tricks that will help you keep on top of your online brand:
- Once a Year, Take Inventory – Have a plan for how you want to manage your online presence. Check in by writing down a list, evaluating the role of each social media platform on your brand. As life starts to change, you may find the information you want to share will be different. For example, if you’re a high school teacher, you may choose to use a different name on FB so students can’t find you.
- Consider Your Career – What you choose to share online will depend on your career goals. In almost all industries, it’s a good idea to have some kind of CV online. When it comes to further qualification of your application, you want to be easy to search, providing your future employer with relevant information about who you are. Whether that’s through LinkedIn, a personal website, or blog, make sure the content you share is relevant to your interests, and what you want people to know.
- Review Privacy Settings – With Facebook search, it’s now easier than ever for people to find information on your personal life. The good news is, there are ways to control this content, and it starts with being aware your options. Check your basic privacy settings regularly and make sure you are up to date with who is seeing your information. Under this setting, you can control the information that is shown on your timeline – including tagged photos and posts.
- Be Careful What You Post – In our hyper-sharing culture everyone has an opinion, and can share it. Know that the way you choose to react to content online is a direct reflection of who you are. Posting negative, non-constructive comments can easily damage your credibility. So, as tempting as it is to post “THIS SUCKS!!” you might want take a breather and re-evaluate a better place to share that frustration. You don’t want to end up like these folk (Top 10 People Who Lost Jobs Over Social Media Mistakes). You have an opportunity, through everything you do online to contribute positively to a community of users. Choose where you want to share your words and share them wisely. Do not let this happen to you:
As your values and goals start to change, you’ll want to make sure this is reflected in your online life. Especially in early stages of your career, if you take responsibility for your behavior online it will show in positive light. It’s completely manageable and starts simply with an awareness that your online life matters.