career fair champlain college manage online presence

Managing Your Online Presence

by Sarah Wilkinson, Class of ’17

Managing your online presence is important because employers often check your social media profiles to ensure you’re the kind of candidate they want to hire.

Maintain your online presence:

  • Don’t Flame Out. If you disagree with someone, always do so respectfully. “Flames” and profanity can help you strike out in the job search.
  • “Do as the Romans do.” If you are trying your hand at a new technology application or platform, watch how seasoned users of the technology before actively using it yourself.
  • Everything you write is a mini‐writing sample. Present yourself well, employers may be reading! Good spelling and grammar can assist with a hiring decision. Show you have what it takes.
  • Strive to be brief, concise, and specific. Conventional wisdom maintains that employers spend 30 seconds or less on a resume. With social media, expect a quicker pass.

Even when you’re among friends on Facebook with privacy settings locked, the information you post and share online has all the confidentiality of a postcard. Assume anything you post or—are tagged by—is visible to the world‐at‐large, and may be viewed in the job search process. Don’t assume you are safe.

Here are five strategies you can use to manage your online presence:

1. Know what’s out there. Establish a baseline knowledge of what information is available about you online—as well as others who share your name. A great way to get started is to use the Reach Branding Online ID Calculator:

2. Monitor Your Digital Dirt. Set up an “Ego Search”: Establish a Google News Alert on your name so that you receive results of any mention of you that hits the Internet. Untag yourself in non‐flattering Facebook photos and be mindful of status updates

3. Look at the “competition.” Research how other people you know with similar interests present themselves online. Aim to have content on the web be “professional” not “confessional.”

4. Figure out what companies look for. Have a conversation with your employer about their comfort level with your online presence, find out company policies about using social media, and be conscientious. Maintain privacy and don’t go on the record with information they would not want shared.

5. Be aware that personal information can “float.” Try to keep any mention of your professional interests relatively consistent. It’s okay to go on the record saying, “I’m exploring possibilities in which I could combine my knowledge in” and it’s less okay to say, “I’ll do anything as long as I can live in Burlington.”

Source: Champlain Career Collaborative