How To: Protect your online reputation

Protect your online reputation

With social networking systems, YouTube comments chains, chat rooms, bulletins boards, Twitter updates... It seems as if almost everyone has at one time publicly stated an opinion on the Internet. Nearly half of all prospective employers research job applicants online. Make sure that what you're posting today doesn't cost you a dream job tomorrow!

You Will Need:
• Common sense
• Self-control

Step 1: Consider what would happen in the long-run
Ask yourself, "How would I feel if my parents or boss saw this?" before you post anything online because, chances are, they will!

Step 2: Avoid poor spelling and grammar
Avoid poor spelling and grammar in your postings online or on a resume. Some employers admit not hiring people because of this.

Step 3: Change your privacy and search settings
Check your privacy and search settings on social networking sites to make sure that only pre-selected friends can view and find your page and photos.

Step 4: Remove offensive comments from your site
Take advantage of the "block comments" feature on your web site, which allows you to remove offensive comments from other people.

Step 5: Use an alias
Use an alias or alternate e-mail address to post comments online.

Step 6: Be polite online
Don't flame anyone, don't respond to flamers, and keep your bad feelings about people offline.

Step 7: Search for yourself online
Search your name online and see what comes up. Ask the webmasters of particular sites to remove anything by you or about you that you find offensive. You can also sign up to receive an e-mail alert that will notify you whenever your name appears in a new place on the web.

Trivia: According to a survey, 14 percent of employers would not consider job candidates who sent them an e-mail using an emoticon.

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