3 Ways to Professionalize Your Online Presence

monitoringYou may not realize what you’re doing to your reputation sometimes, until it is too late. When the time comes to land that important job, you discover that your professional online presence has been compromised.

Before this happens, why not get to work on improving your online presence now. It’s not that hard, really; it just takes a little research and reinventing yourself. There are three tried-and-true ways of changing your online presence.

1. Revamp your social media presence

Your social media presence has been damaged. Guess what: you and your friends are probably the culprits. Not to worry, there are ways to reverse the damage that has been done.

One of the first things to think about when reconstructing your social media page, is the avatar picture. Nothing says un-professional like a self-portrait in the bathroom or a “duckface” photo.

These are just some ridiculous examples. Most of us have the common sense to use a better picture than those. It’s also important that our picture represents what we want our future employer to see. If we want them to see us as a professional, then we have to have an avatar photo that looks that. Choose a photo that’s clean and simple.

As far as social media posts, you should keep them simple as well. Hardly anyone really wants to know the details of your drunken night on the town or your fight with a best friend. These things should never be posted for the public eye. Keep your posts as professional as your avatar.

2. Search and destroy

There are probably profiles of you that you never created. You may ask, “Why is this?” You have probably entered your name and personal information into forms and applications, and as many times as you have, there’s a chance that your identity has been compromised.

Don’t be surprised, when Googling your name. to find websites with your picture that you never submitted or agreed to have displayed. Most of the time, it’s very simple to get these profiles deleted.

In many cases, it’s just a matter of writing an email to request that the false information be removed. You may have to search many times to find all the evidence of your shifty online presence.

3. Keep the professional habit

After you’ve cleaned up your mess, stick with your new approach. Always remember what sort of reputation you are trying to present to the public. If you’re the type who likes to make drunken posts, either stay off the Internet or stop drinking. Your professional online presence is critically important, and maintaining this presence has to become a way of life.

After a period of time has passed with your new online appearance, Google yourself again. Is what you see now, what you want the world to see? If your online presence is pleasing and professional, then apparently, you have successfully reinvented yourself for the world.

Drew Hendricks is a professional business and startup blogger that writes for a variety of sites including The Huffington Post, Forbes and Technorati. Drew has worked at a variety of different startups as well as large advertising agencies.