To succeed in today’s job market, it is important to have an online presence with the right kind of information. If you are applying for a job, school, or new apartment, it is likely someone is Googling your name to learn about you. So, what do people see when they Google your name? Are there some embarrassing photos or rash comments? Are there affiliations with certain groups that may impact your marketability or reputation? Is the search empty which may indicate you are not up on current social networking tools?
Once information becomes part of the public domain it is difficult to remove, particularly with sharing features on social media sites. The best line of defense is to post only things that reflect you positively. Unfortunately, many of us have missed the boat on this one. We have not set privacy settings appropriately, we have overshared our opinions on certain topics, or we have aligned ourselves with groups or causes that may shape future opportunities. Luckily, there are some strategies for burying old information to improve your online reputation. The first step in the process is to understand what others are viewing about you by googling your name. If you find information that is less than ideal take steps to restore your online reputation and develop your personal brand.