Improving Your Professional Online Presence

Background image from MIT

Background image from MIT

By: Grace Peters, Editorial Analyst, The Memo

If you had to guess how much time you spend online, what would you guess? A 2015 study suggests that we each spend an average of two hours a day on the web. Between sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat, our personal profiles and information are visible and can be viewed by others all over the internet. Sometimes, we may discover information about ourselves that we wouldn’t want potential employers and co-workers to have access to (like that old blog you created 15 years ago, or your outdated, original Myspace page). In our digitally-centered lives, we should ensure that our online presence is curated and professional. Your social media profiles are part of your personal “brand” where you advertise and highlight your defining characteristics.

Deactivate Your Old Accounts

There’s a quick and easy way to delete any old, unwanted accounts you’ve created online. Visit the website "Just Delete Me" for instructions on how to delete various accounts that you may have created in the past. Just Delete Me tells you both how difficult it is to delete an old account, and gives specific instructions for deleting each online account.**

Google Yourself

Be sure to Google yourself! Search your full name, “Jane Doe,” and any other old usernames you might have created in the past, such as “JaneDoe123.”

Review Your Social Media Profiles

Make sure that your personal Facebook account is as private as possible. Access your privacy settings and choose who can see what you post and if search engines can link to your profile.

On your social media profiles, keep your profile pictures up to date. Share thought-provoking or interesting articles that catch your reader’s attention, but always think before you post. Typically, you’ll want to avoid using swear words or inappropriate language. Consider if what you are posting will enhance or detract from your personal brand. If an employer saw your post, what would their reaction be?

Consider Creating Your Own Web Site

A personal website is another way to develop your brand and create an online portfolio where you can display your best work. Your personal website should be as user-friendly as possible. Website-building platforms like Squarespace and Wix make it easy to have clean, simple, and informative websites. Wordpress is also a powerful, though slightly more complex, website-building tool.

If you apply the methods above, your professional online presence will begin attracting the right kind of attention.