This blog was written by Courtney Pierson, our Campus Ambassador from the University of South Carolina.
Though it may be hard to ditch your loyal password that you have used since the days of Xanga and AIM in 8th grade, and yes you have become emotionally attached to using your last name and the jersey number you wore in high school. But this could have you sending spam direct twitter messages to your employers, friends, and coworkers, which is far more embarrassing than say, lipstick on your teeth.
Mashable.com advises that to protect your Twitter account, you should use unique passwords, change them often, and never re-use passwords even across different social media sites. This is because if one site gets hacked it is easier for them to reach other accounts with that information. It is also important to pay attention to what third-party apps you allow access to your Twitter or Facebook accounts. You can go to the Apps Tab in Account Settings on Twitter and “Revoke Access” to certain applications.
A recent survey stated as many as 90% of hiring managers have looked at potential candidate profile’s on social networking sites in order to get an idea of their character, and to determine how they would fit within the culture of their organization and workplace environment. It is no secret that one of the first things a potential employer will do is Google your name. So my next piece of advice is to go ahead and Google yourself. Delete all the old sites you now ignore such as MySpace or Live Journal because whatever Google decides to pull up can highly impact if you end up out on the town celebrating a new job, or at home eating celery and peanut butter over more applications. You can also monitor your personal brand through Google alerts, which sends out daily or weekly notifications when your name shows up online.
When building your personal brand, it is important to be consistent over each platform you use. Make sure your very professional LinkedIn doesn’t lead to a Facebook page that distracts-or disturbs your possible employer from giving you the job. Websites such as Knowem.com can search over 550 popular social network sites and the entire USPTO Trademark database to search for possible duplicates and secure your personal brand.
Whether or not you consciously build your personal brand, it is imperative to protect your image especially if you are entering the workforce. Keep tabs on all the social media sites connected to your name, be consistent, monitor where you appear online, and follow the fundamental tools to avoid injury to your online image.