It isn’t just baseball players or other celebrities who need to be concerned about social media and what might show up when they get googled. More and more, your online reputation matters when it comes to making a career move or transitioning to your next IT contract gig. Don’t strike out when managing your online reputation. The World Wide Web has a surprising amount to say about you. Just as your office reputation is important, so is your online reputation whether you’re looking for a new IT gig or not. Don’t get yourself caught in a pickle. Play offensively to make sure you’re presenting your stats accurately by following these tips for managing your online presence.
Watch the Pitchers
When’s the last time you Googled yourself? Baseball players don’t start getting ready for their at bat on deck. Instead, each player studies the other team’s pitchers to get a better idea of what to expect in the game. Likewise, the best place to start when managing your online reputation is to look and see what is currently showing about you in searches across multiple search sites like Google and Bing. Looking at multiple sites will yield different search results and you don’t want to be caught off-guard with a slider from the relief pitcher. Assess what you find about yourself and make a list of what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s missing.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that not swinging at the fast ball is your best choice. Don’t be overlooked for your next gig because a company can’t find you or your work history online. Privacy is important but you want fans watching the game. Hide your personal life but showcase your professional life. Be intentional with your social media presence and put quality content out to be found and show up as an expert. Items to promote include any published work, web portfolios, professional social websites like LinkedIn, or a non-profit you work on the board of. You want people trading your baseball business cards.
Work on Your Batting Average
It’s not always fun, but sometimes you have to go back to the basics with your swing. When you search for yourself and your worst nightmare is reality…the picture from a wild party is on page one of google, don’t fret. You can go back to the basics and fix your results one of two ways. You can try to have all unfavorable content removed from the internet. Delete or hide content like photographs of drinking alcohol, negative reviews from an unhappy client, or deeply personal information that you don’t want others to see. But unless you personally own the negative content, this could be a challenge. Your best option is to create content to help bury the negative search results. Who goes past the second page of search results anyway? Bury your negative content by joining multiple social media sites, buying your own domain names, starting blogs, and sharing articles or papers you’ve published. Put as much “good” content out as you are able to, and hide the “bad” content deep in centerfield.
Don’t Foul Out
Boundaries are just as important in your web presence as they are in baseball. Most of us have at least one social media site that we use, if not several. As a result, we make a lot of information about ourselves available to the whole world. Make sure you keep your information in bounds by considering these tips to showcase your best self:
- Use a different variation of your name on social media to make it harder for people to find you and to create a layer of privacy from your professional self and your personal self.
- Be intentional with your privacy settings to protect your information as much as possible and periodically check your privacy settings. Social platforms update their terms often; make sure you are protecting yourself as much as you think you are.
- Keep your profiles up-to-date to have accurate and relevant content associated with your name.
When it comes to managing your online reputation there is a lot of field to cover, but your effort will be rewarded. Don’t leave the game up to chance. People will search for you so make sure they’re finding the best, real you.
Click on the links below to read all the articles in this 3-part series about Managing your Reputation: