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Keep your online reputation professional

by Rebecca Luger October 20, 2015
Keep your online reputation professional

Maintain a positive, responsible social media profile with these quick and easy guidelines

As you start looking for a career it’s important to note that your social media profile may need some updating. While you want your online profile to stay true to you, it’s wise to have an appropriate profile that makes you look credible and respectable. This way, any future employers who may have seen your profile know that your online reputation is solid and that you’re dependable and responsible.

Keeping your privacy settings and tagged photos in check is vital to a professional social media account. Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

Keeping your privacy settings and tagged photos in check is vital to a professional social media account. Photo by Marie-Pierre Savard.

Here are some tips that will help you achieve a good online reputation.

Screen tagged photos of you on Facebook. Do it! Thank me later. Don’t like that picture your friend Jamie tagged you in where you’re chugging a beer? You can change your “Timeline” and “Tagging” settings so that you can review tagged pictures before they’re posted to your Facebook. If you happen to like the picture, consider saving it to your computer as opposed to posting it. Make a point to review past photos as well. “Your online profile is definitely an extension and continuation of your offline identity, so people judge you based on what they see on this profile in a much similar manner to the way they judge you in real life,” said Concordia professor Ahmed K. Al-Rawi, specialist in global communication, social media and Middle Eastern popular culture and media.

Adjust your privacy settings. By doing so, no one can stalk your profile or they need to be added by you as a ‘friend’ in order to do so. It means that you have complete control over what others see on your profile. You can select specific content that is or isn’t visible to the public, friends and others. A lot of people also change their username as a way of making it harder for employers and people they don’t know to find them online.

Get a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn similar to Facebook, but for a professional profile. You showcase your job experience, skills, talents and interests. You can check out the profiles of businesses and people that may interest you based on your profession. Businesses are using LinkedIn as a way of looking for employees and it is not unusual to be contacted for a possible job opportunity. It’s a great way to get yourself out there.

Have a professional username. It might not be the best thing to have a Twitter handle like “SassySallyIsSoFun” or “Rob2sexy4u” especially when you start looking for a job. Consider going with your real name. It shows you’re mature and that you don’t have anything to hide.

Be mindful of what you post. “Avoid getting engaged in flaming (insults, swearing, etc.) activities or posting controversial images or videos which might be interpreted by some in a negative way,” Al-Rawi said. “It is important to maintain a professional online profile because employers actually do check the social media profiles of candidates.” Swearing on social media does help let off some steam but it can also come across as immature and silly. Before posting a potentially controversial photo, video or thought, consider your audience. If you still want to vent, start a public or private blog but using a pseudonym to operate anonymously. It gives you the freedom to rant and complain.

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