Your online reputation is important for several reasons. One key reason is that it can impact your chances of being hired for a job or not. Perspective employers now regularly research employee candidates on the web. Even if you are applying for a summer internship, chances are high that the company you are planning on interning will check the web to see your reputation.
So what do prospective employers or companies that hire interns look for? They usually start of by looking at LinkedIn and other professional networking sites. Many employers also look at social media to determine how responsible or irresponsible a candidate is. Besides professional networking and social media, employers will also do general Google searches on your name. This will give them an idea of who you are and what your reputation is, on the web anyways.
The best way to manage and control your reputation is to imagine that you are in the shoes of an employer that is looking to hire you or a company considering to take you on as an intern. You know that they will look at your social media and professional networking sites. Thus, you should try and create a social media presence on the web. If you have not created a LinkedIn account, consider creating one and adding professional information and achievements such as awards you have received. Set up a Facebook and Twitter account as well as other lesser known outlets such as Instagram, Tumblr and About.me.
If you feel you have negative or potentially harmful content on your social media pages, then you should clean it up. Remove inappropriate photographs, comments and postings at forums. You don’t want a boss seeing you binge drinking or trying illegal drugs at a party. Your online presence should give off a professional and responsible appearance.
Besides creating and cleaning up social media accounts, you can try the following tips to boost your online presence. Claim your name as a domain and build up a personal website. Publish a blog or entries in your field. Create videos, expand your social media presence and use search engine optimization to make you more visible on the vast web.