Managing your online presence

Your clients and employers are looking for you online. It is easy to just think they are looking for information about your location or simply, your contact information, they are really checking you out. It is a fact that more and more employers are doing background checks on potential employees and soon, we might just forget about the paper-back CV’s and application letters in favor of online profiles. And they don’t need a reason; hundreds of millions of internet users are dashing in to sign up to the various online so

cial and professional website. By the way, this is not just a generation Y thing; one of the fastest growing demographics on Linkedin, one of the top professional sites, is the age of 35 +! Just 2 years shy of my former bosses’ age!

So, is your online presence important? You bet your life it is! In fact, you’ve got to make haste and seal off your name. If you don’t, someone else will grab it. Common names have a tendency to get entangled in the shuffles and so, you might want to distinguish yourself. Whatever you do, always use your real names. In a nutshell, sign up to as many social and professional websites as possible to secure your name because it your brand. Recent research statistics indicate that HR professionals are increasingly considering online information such as the candidates’ lifestyle, inappropriate comments and remarks, unsuitable videos and videos, and communication skills before short-listing them.

The first thing is always to ‘google yourself out’. It is important that we critically appraise your profile and posts. For some of us, we will need to do a little digital clean up; and stay that way. Being fully aware of not only what you say out there, but even what is said about you is crucial. Avoid those dull, repugnant, overly critical status updates and weird photos of your party sprees, midnight escapades and sexy photos. Don’t announce your personal problems to everyone out there and by all means, don’t drag everyone into your bad day.

Why should you care about managing your online presence? Well, peer pressure might be top on the list of your reasons, and you could actually be resisting it, but woe unto you if it is an industry standard or a requirement. It is absolutely critical that you build your online presence before you need it because employers and clients are scouring the Internet for prospective employees or services. It’s all about branding yourself or your business so as to maximize the benefits that come from having an online presence. Also, you stand the risk of out rightly being dismissed as irrelevant and you will be passed over for the more ‘visible’ applicants or product/service providers.

It’s really in your best interests to take some time out and manage your online presence. It can be a big boost to your career, whether in business or in employment. Now that managers and professionals are already predicting the demise of the good old references and using the Web to dig out information on you; lack of a well managed online presence could be a deal breaker moving forward.

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