How to Keep Your Virtual Image Professional and Interesting
This blog was written by Erin, our Campus Ambassador from the College of William and Mary. If you attend the College of William and Mary and would like to blog for us, comment below!
The world is increasingly dependent on the Internet to gain information about everything. Employers are using the web more than ever to seek, evaluate, and monitor potential employees, and graduate admission committees are searching their applicants as well. Anything that you put on the web can, and probably will be, seen by them. It is more important than ever to project yourself as a young professional while still working to stand out in the virtual sea. Maintaining a clean image online can be the ultimate deciding factor in whether or not you receive the job or letter of admission. Here are some guidelines to follow when evaluating your online profile:
1.Clean up your Facebook (or Myspace, or Twitter)
Many people assume that the only people looking at their profile are friends. Maybe this was true five years ago. But with the tremendous increase in popularity that Facebook has enjoyed in the recent years, it follows that more people than ever have access to your personal information. It is imperative that your Facebook is professional, so keep it clean! Delete crude posts from your friends, and detag yourself from any compromising photos. Do the parent, or even grandparent, test: if you wouldn’t want them to see it, then take it down.
2. Join professional networking websites, such as LinkedIn.
It’s never too early to start networking on the web. Sites like LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/) allow you to create a profile based solely on your professional aspirations and your current achievements. You can follow businesses, and they have access to your information as well. In addition, you can make connections with other like-minded professionals and aspiring professionals. It’s an easy to way to connect with the professional world and make you accessible to employers.
3. Start a blog!
This is a very effective way to show your personality in a constructive and appropriate way. Blog about something that interests you, be it world affairs, fashion, or philosophy, just make sure to keep the material clean. The blog is an opportunity to show another facet of you as well as differentiate yourself from everyone else. Make sure to include a link to your blog on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and resume’.
Strive for a balance between unique and professional. Remember that nothing on the Internet is truly private, and put your best self out there for the world to find, and you’ll pass through the scrutiny of employers and admissions officers with flying colors.