Online Reputation Advice for Job Seekers

There are many ways, as they say, to keep your picture clean. Here, we've listed a few tips for scrubbing your digital profile, and maintaining a professional digital media presence.

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Maintaining Your Online Reputation

Social networking media like Facebook and Twitter are great for keeping up with friends and family. Unfortunately, some content at these sites can be harmful to your professional prospects, as employers increasingly search the Internet for info on job candidates. Learn how you can make a good impression online in six easy steps.

1. Learn what's out there

Type your name into popular search engines and social media sites to find out exactly what potential employers might see when they look you up online. There may be more out there than you realize, from uncomplimentary forum comments you forgot you posted to risqué material on friends' profiles.

2. Remove compromising photos

'Compromising' might mean anything from inappropriate pictures to photos of you in revealing attire. On your profile, replace images that might cause employers to question your judgment with pictures of you looking attractive, but professional. Ask friends and other third parties to remove unflattering photos of you on other profiles or sites, or to at least 'untag' you from these images.

3. Delete controversial or crude comments

Scrub your profile clean of expletives, flirtatious language and opinions that could cast you in an unfavorable light. Also seek to have potentially damaging comments posted under your name at other sites removed. This includes any criticism you might have written about past workplaces, which will make you look bad to potential employers.

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4. Present your best self

Tailor personal information on your profile to reflect the individual you want the world to see. Is your family very important to you? Have any cool hobbies? What's interesting about your background? Posting this kind of information can allow your personality to shine without causing professional collateral damage.

5. Showcase your professional side

Maintaining your reputation online isn't just about removing potentially offensive content - it's also about producing material that reflects your career aspirations. Post insightful comments on trending topics in your chosen field of work. Set up a profile on LinkedIn to cultivate a vibrant, thoughtful online persona and network with others.

6. Monitor your online image

After cleaning up your image online, stay vigilant. Ask friends not to post pictures or updates without your consent. Verify that your privacy settings only allow people to see what you want them to see. And routinely perform searches of your name - you never know what someone might post without your knowledge.

Shifting your job search into full gear? Learn technology etiquette for the job hunt.

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