Dos and Don’ts

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When creating a strong online presence there are some clear dos and don’ts that everyone should be aware of. Before posting anything, professional or private, consider these tips.

In short:

Do…

  • make personal profiles private
  • have a diverse network of profiles
  • share your work online
    • be open to critiques on your work
  • express your opinions- be proactive on social networks
  • be mindful of word choice
  • *think before you post!*

Don’t…

  • make everything private
  • be afraid of having diverse information on yourself
  • share something you are not proud of
  • make careless grammar and spelling mistakes
  • include pictures or posts including profanity, alcohol, drugs, or religious related subjects
  • *post something you are not proud of*

Do make personal profiles private and beware of versions of privacy settings. But, don’t make everything private. You can’t create an identity without profiles and you don’t want to seem like you have too much to hide.

Do have a diverse network of profiles- use multiple kinds of sites. Also, don’t be afraid of having diverse information on yourself; you want to add some personal finesse to your profile to show what interests you. This will help you create a holistic image of yourself, even though it’s virtual.

Do share your work online but don’t share something you are not proud of. Having a virtual profile can be really helpful for getting jobs and displaying your talents, as long as you share things you wouldn’t be ashamed of showing an employer in the future. Also, be open to critiques on your work because they can only help you create a better profile.

Do express your opinions and be proactive on social networks. Every little thing you do on the Internet helps make a diverse identity online. However, don’t make careless grammar and spelling mistakes. People pay attention to the details even when you don’t. Recruiters also pay attention to certain keywords and phrases you use, so be mindful of word choice.

Don’t include pictures or posts including profanity, alcohol, drugs, or religious related subjects. It’s very important not to post controversial topics on a public profile. Keep these on private sites for friends and family if you would like.

The most important rule of thumb when posting anything online is thinking about the future. You need to be aware that what you post can come up far in the future when you least expect it. Deleting things online can be very hard to do (refer to this helpful article on deleting things online if you need help with this). It’s even harder to delete the memory of an embarrassing post from the minds of others. Just think before you post.

Sources:
Social Resume Infograph by Kristin Marino, onlinecollege.com
10 Tips To Optimize Your Online Presence (For Job Hunts) by Michael Poh, hongkiat.com

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Forbes Article on Online Presence

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An article in Forbes magazine explains the importance of having a good online presence. Author Dan Schawbel explains why an online presence will be more important than a resume in the near future. This may seem surprising, but Schawbel backed it up with data: OfficeTeam [a leading staffing service] shows that more than one-third of companies feel that resumes will be replaced by profiles on social networks. This information means that creating a positive identity online is even more important if you’re seeking employment in the next few years.

I think this article is valid because the points he outlines reflect the way that technology, and especially the web, are more prominent in all aspects of society. The article is also helpful because Schawbel doesn’t just tell you why you should create a better internet presence, he tells you how to do so. He explains the importance of creating a website at yourfullname.com as a first step to help employers see what you have to offer them. According to Schawbel, creating a website will help you to have control over how you are perceived.

This website is the core of your online presence and if you optimize it effectively, it will rank number one for your name in major search engines such as Google. 

Finally, Schawbel helps readers understand how to create diverse identity online with the social networks you are already a part of or those you didn’t know you needed to be on.

Also, your online presence should contain social network profiles, with vanity URL’s, on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter at a minimum. I would also get listed on sites, such as Spokeo.com, and obtain your Google profile.

Overall, the article makes it clear that having an online presence is crucial in order to get jobs in this technology driven age. If you have a good online presence, it will help you stand out among all the other words on a screen.

By building your online presence, employers can find you and thus you have more opportunities. If you don’t have an online presence, you won’t appear to be relevant and you will be passed over for more savvy applicants that have visibility.

My Personal Experience With Online Presence

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As a college student who is starting to apply to part time jobs and internships I have begun to understand how important the web is in the job market. Before I knew much about online presence, I was very skeptical about submitting resumes and applying to jobs online. I never understood how some one could get to know me as a potential employee without meeting me in person. There is so much competition out there that I don’t want the first impression I give to be from a screen where everyone seems the same. It is true that the web can take away some personal aspects. Regardless, most parts of the application process are being put online and those in the job market have to learn to adapt.

This summer, I applied for over 20 jobs and didn’t get many call backs. Out of those 20, I spoke directly to the employers only a quarter of the time. During that time, I wished I could have talk to them face to face to get ahead of the competition.

This being said, there are many benefits to creating a presence online that makes the first impression. You can refine your information. Also, there is less opportunity to be unprepared for questions or fumble over answers during an interview. It was also easier for me as an employee to apply to multiple jobs in a shorter amount of time.

I am learning to better appreciate the benefits of applying for jobs online. Also, as I learn more about how to create a strong online presence that will impress employers, I am becoming less weary of the digital world. I hope that through making this blog I can further educate myself and others about making a good reputation for myself on the web.