As we step into a new year, it imperative that we lead with our best foot. One of the best ways we can take off is to start with our online presence. The internet is a powerful tool that can either add or detract from us. Who we are online is a part of our personal brand. A resume and online reputation fit together, such as foot and shoe do. Below are some quick tips to help manage and maximize your online identity in 2014.
1. Google Yourself
Before you can manage your online presence it is best to identify where you stand amidst the pool of internet users. Begin with a Google search and take note of the information that is linked to your name (if anything at all). Make sure to search your name with quotations. For instance, searching Tyler Smith will yield different results than “Tyler Smith”. Add in your Alma mater, hometown, or an employer you’ve been connected to. To maximize search results, cross test your key words by using different search engines such as Bing and Yahoo.
Keep in mind that you do want to be found when searched. Stray away from being nonexistent or worse, hidden online. It is essential to have a strong online presence; however, you want the presence to be relevant content that is projecting positive reinforcement to you, and your brand. After you’ve conducted your search(s) it is time to devise a plan.
2. Brand Yourself
Build a plan that is linked to your brand. Consider investing in a URL name. Pick a domain name that you identify with. Once purchased, begin replacing old site addresses with the new one. Visit sites such as GoDaddy.com or Bluehost, to purchase a URL for roughly $10-12 per year. Consider taking advantage of tools such as WordPress or About.Me to create your own public profile or “homepage” that aims to personalize your online reputation that reflect your brand.
Establish an account on sites such a LinkedIn, Twitter, and (if you still haven’t joined) Facebook. Be sure to keep the content (photos included) professional while integrating it into your domain name.
3. Differentiate Yourself
While joining these sites can be valuable you don’t want to invest your time if you are unable to be “seen” or found. If you are someone who considers themselves to have a “common” or “classic” name consider incorporating your middle name or middle initial into your band. Also note, to stay consistent throughout each platform. To optimize results being consistent is one of the strongest tactics you can use on the Web. If you have time, join non-conventional sites such as YouTube, Google +, Tumblr and Pinterest. Taking the time to develop your identity on each page leads increased opportunities that expand your online presence.
4. Promote Yourself
After you have revamped your identity online, make it a habit to keep your content fresh. Your web presence is useless with outdated material. Make a commitment to yourself to post as a minimum of once a month. Also be mindful of privacy settings. Take the time to discover what options are available on each site to secure your content. It is a delicate balance of information that is hidden and exposed while still being your authentic self.
Bottom line: take control of your online identity before some else does. With a new year comes a new you that you can walk confidentially into.
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In : Job Search