This blog is written by Ashley Moncrieffe, our campus ambassador from the University of South Florida. You can follow Ashley on twitter @AshFMoncrieffe
As a student and young professional it is imperative to have an online presence. An online presence simply means that you can find yourself and anything closely related to you on some of the prominent sites out there today. Such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any other site where you may be virtually present.
Depending on what your desired career field will be, you should be online. For instance, if you wish to get into fields such as Communication, Entertainment, Journalism or anything of the sort an employer should be able to Google your name and instant information should come up, preferably highlighted career worthy information about you. Such as a virtual resume, volunteer experience, internships or jobs in your desired field, etc.
Below is the number one reason why I think you should have a clean online presence.
You never know who is watching.
We live in a time where sharing any and everything is at the tip of our fingertips. Just because we are in a social media age, does not mean you have to ‘follow the hype’ of everyone else who is doing the same. Future employers, recruiters, admission officers, clients, co workers, etc could be out there and will judge you based on who you are online before they meet you in person. Is it fair? Probably not, but you do not want to take any chances when it involves your future. We have heard it before and we will continue to hear it, clean up any social media site you are on. For example, when I moved into my new apartment a year ago, before I met my new roommates, they all found me on Facebook and friend requested me. People will do that, to see what they can find out about you before they actually meet you. Will employers do that? Maybe, maybe not. But if they are interested they will Google you to see what comes up, including any social site you may be on to get a feel of your character.
If you present a raunchy lifestyle online an employer may not chose to hire you or give you a second look because they do not want you associated with their company. Should your personal life be separate from your professional life? Yes, I would like to think so. But, you do not need to make your personal life that detailed to the point that employers will not want to hire you based off that alone. For example, a little social media etiquette can go a long way. Do not post status updates or pictures of you and an alternative lifestyle that you would not want an elder, professor, relative or employer to see. Definitely not a good look, especially if it is public.
Suggestion: Google yourself!
I Google myself all the time. Especially since I will graduate at the end of the year. Google your first and last name to see what comes up in both images and text. For example, a few of the first things that come up when I Google myself are my LinkedIn, Twitter and the website that I currently write articles for. Check your privacy settings, posts, status updates, tweets, photos and any other thing that may be out there to make sure they are not giving off the wrong impression. I personally value my privacy so I am a strong advocate for not putting everything out there or the notion that everyone does not need to know. If you want to vent about an issue, call a friend. Social media has and will continue to get people in trouble for various reasons; you don’t want to be one of those people.
You can check out the link below to setup Google alerts on yourself or any search inquiry.