f

Your Online Content...It May Haunt You One Day!!

One thing we almost do forget (or don't know) is internet has a looong memory. All the comments we've made, the bad and good photos, scandals, contributions, what others are saying about you...majorly everything is kept in memory. Safely, by the way. All the "bad stuff" you've put online may come to haunt you one day.

Imagine you have done an interview and passed excellently. Then you realize you've not been given that post or even called for a second interview. Only to realize that the hiring staff came across a certain negative post you made on Facebook two years ago, and that was it.

Yes you have more than the required skills and experience, but your online reputation has kicked you out and definitely killed your chances of securing your dream job!

A good reputation is fundamental if you're serious on building a strong career. Online reputation claims a better potion of this. In fact most managers now will go through your online content to get some "inner you". Ok, you may say that's unfair, but who wants to hand their hard build business in the hands of untrusted individuals? In this article, I'm going to share why maintaining a positive Online Reputation is that important and how you can achieve it.

Why You Need a Positive Online Reputation

I think online reputation is now over-weighing offline one since it reveals the real you. We get a this "false privacy"whenever we're online simply because we're not physically in contact with the other party. But the truth is more people will actually see your content online than maybe listen to you talking. This is why employers and business partners are interested in your online reputation.

On the other hand, a positive online reputation will do just the opposite! You can actually earn a job you never applied for, get a salary increase from the blues, enhance the chances of impressing your recruiters (and you know what that means) or, for a business, get more new clients. 

Managing Your Online Reputation

I guess the hardest part is realizing that you can do little to pull down a friend's 'bad photo' in which you feature. That's why you must start to focus on means of dictating your reputation. Let's start with what we can directly handle.

1. Would you love your boss and mom to see your post?

If we asked ourselves this question before uploading a photo or writing any comment we would have saved ourselves tones of future pain. Erasing the ugly past can be overwhelming, simply avoid tainting the future.

2. Friends Can Mess You

I personally accept every friend request sent, especial on Facebook. But lately I gave it a second thought. What will people think of you if they found pornographic images on your wall posted by your friend? Ok, we'd love to understand that you're clean but there's an image built that you'll struggle to rectify. 

It's good to categorize people you connect with as either friends or acquaintances. I understand that's both  a sad and hard story but it'll be harder to explain why they are your friends when that awful day comes. Birds of same feather fly together; I think that can easily apply on online friends. Choose your friends wisely.

3. Control Your Privacy

Since we mostly have single accounts with each social media, it can be difficult setting aside your private life from the public. But most sites allow you to control who views your posts. For instance you can choose 'public', 'friends' or 'custom' for Facebook. This can easily be done by going to the privacy settings page. For Twitter, you can make your tweets either public or private. LinkedIn is made up of professionals and therefore its blows are very minimal. But still you manage your privacy through the 'managing account settings' page. 

How To Improve Your Online Reputation

Take time to check and search your name online. Screen for the online content associated with your name. See what you can possibly delete. You may also need to create a Goole Alert. This is a free service that will get all the content containing your name emailed to you.

It's impossible to remove the content from the account or site you don't control. In such cases you may contact the owners to remove them.

Adding more positive content may help as relevant and newer content is likely to be ranked first by Google. Probably you may argue you've changed for better! lol!

In Case the Worst Comes to Being?

At times a situation may slip out of hand; maybe you got into a hot confrontation or a client is not happy with what you've done. You should reduce damage on your reputation. This is what how to go about it.
  • Quickly strategize your response
  • Be truly honest and transparent
  • Correct any misinformation
  • Be ready to apologize
  • Purpose to rebuild the reputation

Two More Point

Throughout your online interactions, try to solve problems, reconcile with people and build others. This will be a big plus especially for job seekers. What you say amidst a sour exchange may determine the true you.   

Secondly, you may opt to start a blog about your goings. It's easy and free to start one with sites like Blogger and WordPress. Your own blog will not only showcase your success easily, but will also put you on top of others as an organized person. 

Go ahead and build a positive reputation for your future. Do your kids use internet? It's important to warn them.

If you found some help in this article, do share for your friends, and feel free to share your experience and thoughts in the comment box bellow. All the best!