There’s a quote from Warren Buffet where he says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” And in this digital age, with tweets or posts, it can arguably take even less time to ruin it. So as the spring months are now upon us, we wanted to focus our spring cleaning efforts on our digital presence.
Regardless of whether you’re job seeking or just simply building your network, the last thing you’d want is for your online profiles to deter opportunities from coming your way. So here are a few of our favorite tips to get the process kick-started.
Clean Up Your Likes and Interests
This might seem like a strange idea at first, but one of the things that usually goes untouched when you’re updating your privacy settings and profile on Facebook is your ‘Likes’ and ‘Interests’. And you’re likely thinking to yourself, how bad can it possibly be? Imagine if at one point in your high school career you ‘Liked’ MTV’s Jersey Shore on Facebook.
Likely that’s not really something you want to share with perspective employers (at least without having the opportunity to explain yourself). Simply going through and un-liking some of these pages will not only clean up your newsfeed but also lessen the worry about what your social interests might say to future employers about you.
Find Forgotten Accounts
Raise your hand if there’s a high likelihood you never deleted your MySpace account *slowly raises hand*. If you mentally raised your hand on that one, then check out a site like deseat.me which helps automate the account deletion process. Just provide your email address and it will search for existing accounts. Unfortunately, deseat.me only works with Gmail and Outlook accounts right now.
However, if you know you have an account somewhere and aren’t sure how to deactivate it, another resource is justdelete.me, which allows you to see the feasibility and process of getting your account deleted with numerous websites. Regardless of how you do it, if you’re no longer using an account, it’s best to just toss it so it doesn’t overshadow positive search results when people are looking for you.
Add More Positive Results
Once you’ve gotten rid of those accounts that were generating negative search results, you’ll want to add positive search results into the mix. Check out www.onlineidcalculator.com to see the first three pages of your Google results. An easy way to add positive search results is to create a personal website.
This might sound redundant from us but we’re huge fans of it and highly encourage folks to control their personal brand this way (check out our blog on why you should have one here). If a full website seems like a daunting task for you, there are free resources like about.me, for simple sites.
Use the Facebook “View As” Feature
If you’re feeling pretty good about where your digital presence stands, make sure to double check all the changes you’ve made, especially on Facebook (which contrary to what people say, is the first place potential employers look after your resume). If you go your profile and click on the box with the “…” and then select “view as”, you can see your profile as the general public or as a specific friend.
Make sure your public profile is solely made up of images that you’d be okay discussing during a job interview. Although unlikely you would ever encounter this conversation, that’s the type of content you should have on the web.
Once you’ve done all that, we encourage you to head out on your merry job hunting way, because you are ready to go!
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