What’s GOOGLE saying about you?

With new social media channels and sharing sites popping up, it’s easy to jump from one new thing to the next.  Especially when you’re an early adopter. But what happens after your initial interest in the property wanes or you decide that the channel just isn’t for you? You stop updating information and forget about it as you move on to the next hot thing.

You may have forgotten about it, but Google hasn’t. Now think about what happens when you are applying for a new job. If someone does an online search of your name does that old information pop up? Does this older information enhance your profile or does it detract? While it’s great to have an archive of your achievements easily accessible for prospective employers and clients, some of the information that is forgotten online can detract from your brand. I’m sure your prospective employer got a kick out of your pics on your now de-funked – and very public – MySpace account.

We joke about people who Google their dates before meeting them in person, but employers do this on a regular basis too. So friends, when was the last time you Googled yourself?

As I am currently looking for a job, I regularly do searches on myself to see what content a perspective employer might come across. What usually pops up are my recent Twitter posts, my LinkedIn profile, links to this blog, Pinterest, old press releases that I sent out and such. And then there’s the other stuff….  There is the Slideshare account I signed up for to so I could access a presentation; my abandoned Classmates info; and an outdated version of my online resume courtesy of Visualze.me (which is now up to date!)

Managing your online and social brand is never ending.  So what’s a professional to do? Here are some tips to get your started:

  1. Be selective of which new social sites you participate in. Don’t jump on every new thing just because it’s new.
  2. If you jumped on the new thing and it’s not for you, shut down or deactivate your account.
  3. In case you just missed that tidbit: SHUT DOWN YOUR ACCOUNT if you are no longer using it. You can reactivate most accounts if you change your mind.
  4. If you have negative or outdated content that is not within your control to remove, start posting new content that is representative of your brand. This will help to drive the outdated stuff farther down in searches.
  5. Be mindful of what you publicly share. Be mindful of what you privately share, because once something is shared; it is really no longer private… and the Internet never forgets. (She says in booming ‘movie voice-over’ voice…)
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