'First impression is the last impression' - this adage has been told to you since you were a child. This adage is religiously being followed by hiring managers, companies and well, your friends too. Online identity is like you are living in a house only with glass doors. Your whole life activities are like an open book.
Having an online profile is certainly beneficial as it helps you to establish contacts with other people. For companies, it helps them connect with customers, suppliers and also helps them to know intricate details about competitors. Basically these social websites create a whole new world.
But with certain advantages, there are disadvantages associated with it. There is always a fear of hackers who can hack your profile and alter it in a negative way or worse, steal it. Even for companies, hackers pose a risk as they can easily get vital information about the company like trade secrets or financial information.
Managing Your Future
As personal branding can make or break your identity, it's of vital importance to regularly monitor your profile and avoid embarrassments. Let us go through some techniques which can prove to be beneficial in managing the online profile.
Search Your Identity
After you have created your profile, it's important to find out about yourself with the help of various search engines. This will give you an idea about your reputation and will serve as a reminder in the event of negative publicity.
According to a business magazine, around 70% of the recruiters search the applicant's profile and 30% eliminate an applicant because of some inappropriate findings in the person's profile. Many search engines provide you personalized services like alerting you if your name crops up in something inappropriate.
Take control of your profile page by activating privacy settings on photos, friends list and messages. For a more professional approach, use professional websites which boost your image in front of recruiters.
Erase the Negative Content
As 'word of mouth' is important in the advertising, similarly written words about you in your friends blogs, social websites serve as an alert call that you must not ignore. If you find certain irrelevant photos or conversations, delete them or tell your friends to remove it. Also, keep yourself away from petty criminal activities as they hamper your image.
While you are busy chatting away to glory, someone will certainly be scrutinizing your profile and your views. So try to keep your language in check. Do not appear as a fanatic for certain issues.
Like after 9/11, many people posted hate messages on their profile, this certainly didn't work in their favor. Also, do not involve yourself in writing verbal abuses. Always remind yourself that Internet is such a window through which anyone can easily peek into your world.
While answering questions in the exam paper, we were told to write answers to the point. The same norm is being followed by the professional websites too.
If a recruiter is searching for you, he/she wants recent and accurate information about your professional achievements rather than some old outdated information. So always update your profile and try maintaining relevant information which will help in boosting your career graph in a positive direction.
Close Extra Accounts
Over a period of time, we all tend to open several accounts in many social networking sites which later on lie idle. These accounts are targeted by hackers to steal your valuable information which can put you in a tight spot. So for keeping your profile and information safe, try to close those accounts in which your visits are limited.
In the end, safeguarding your information is a key to preserve your future. In this Internet age, where companies and people are marketing themselves to their prospective clients, one thing sure has changed, the demarcation between professional and personal life has been absolved. Scott McNealy has aptly put it, "You already have zero privacy. Get over it."