Find out what already exists online and then ask yourself some important questions.
Cleaning up your online identity is something that no one will notice until you DON’T do it!
Ok. So what you saw about you online put you in a tailspin. First, start to target potential problems you’ve identified and clean them up. Identify the easier areas to address first, like your own Facebook profile and blog, then tackle the tougher ones like contacting friends regarding the embarrassing photos in which you are tagged. There are some pieces that are a part of the public record and can't be removed, like police logs and newspaper articles. If there is information on the web that you would rather employers or schools not see, you must be particularly diligent in building your brand on high traffic sites so that less flattering information will appear lower on a Google search.
Now that you know what’s out there, and have worked to clean up your image, you are ready to begin proactively building your brand.
The simplest step you can take to guarantee that the first Google link with your name on it is professional is to create a LinkedIn profile. Don’t know what that is or how to proceed? No worries! The CPRC offers LinkedIn workshops and drop-in sessions to help you strategically build your profile and network while teaching you how to work it. Many employers use LinkedIn as part of their recruiting strategy to connect with active job seekers and passive candidates who are currently employed.
There are a number of SBU LinkedIn groups that can help you jump-start your LinkedIn professional network. For more information about LinkedIn and tips to set up your profile, go to http://www.linkedin.com
In your job search, whether for an internship, co-op position or other during-college experience, and for a job after graduation, standards of professional conduct apply to all aspects of the search: your documents, all your communication and interactions with employers, including in person, in writing and verbal, AND including your online presence.
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