It’s always a good time to consider how you are portrayed online. With today’s rapidly changing tools for communication, a professional must keep a meticulous eye on his or her online presence, especially if undergoing a job or internship search. Although many social networks are designed for your personal life, the information you post can still be readily available to professional contacts. Thankfully, there are several tools and settings that can help you put your best foot forward.
- Facebook – Facebook use is so common that when an employer receives a resume, they go to Facebook to learn more about you. First, consider your photos: A professional profile photo is a good idea if you are in a job or internship search. Also, consider a generic cover photo or no photo at all, and remember that cover photos are always public images. Delete and “untag” all photos that may show you in an unprofessional light. You’ll also want to lock your timeline from public view and reconsider your “likes” and group memberships.
- LinkedIn – A professional photo is a must on LinkedIn. Give yourself a title, which could be your current position or “Graduate Student at Mount St. Mary’s University.” Fill out a profile of your professional and educational activities, including tasks, clubs, committees, and volunteer experiences. Begin linking with people you know and those you would like to get to know professionally. Join groups in your field of interest to meet like-minded professionals.
- Google – Have you ever “googled” yourself? Try several combinations of your name with a city, state, university, or other affiliations to check your Internet presence. Be sure there are no questionable photos or information associated with you. To monitor this daily, set a Google Alert so that you receive an email any time something new appears about you on online.
- Consider your email address – Your email address should be professional and generic, especially if you are including it on your resume or LinkedIn profile. Try something simple like email@example.com.
The Internet is full of tools and networks that can help you build or disassemble your personal brand by sharing appropriate/inappropriate videos, photos, articles, links, and information. Explore your options, like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Vine to find the best platforms to share your professional knowledge and get connected. Make these resources work for you – not against you.
The Career Center at Mount St. Mary’s University bridges the classroom to your career. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and motivate students and alumni to take an active role in their career development and to discover their vocation. We provide career counseling, educational programming, and employer services to enrich each individual's experience at the Mount.