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Career, Online Reputation

My Online WHAT???

REPUTATION! (also referred to as G-Cred, E-Reputation, etc.)

Yeah, yeah. Most people, outside of the social media world, don’t even realize there is such a thing but believe me when I say…welcome to the new age of online EVERYTHING.  Let’s just give a brief overview of what Online Reputation is and how you can take control of managing yours.

Online Reputation
One of the BEST definitions I’ve found comes from an Infographic actually.  I’m a visual learner so I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE when a great infographic comes around.  The infographic states:
“Your online reputation isn’t just what you put up online; it’s how you put it online, where you put it online, and when you do it! And it is also affected by what others say about you.” 

So to put it bluntly, everything you do on the internet = online reputation.  The Facebook status updates, Tweets, sharing of articles/news threads, the sites you visit, where you shop, AND all those horrible pictures/places your friends tag you at make up your reputation.  EX: This blog post I write will go into building my online reputation.

Why Should I Care???
The question I get the most is, “why should I care about what other people think of me online?”  My answer to this ..  perception is reality.   What does this mean?  Well, it means that what people see of you online is what they have to go by to determine your character.
If you’re a job seeker, you’ll definitely want to care about your online reputation has to say.  Your resume is not the only information taken into consideration anymore; you’ll be googled and then every social networking site profile you have will be visited.  Same goes for students in this day of age.  Colleges can determine a students eligibility for scholarships/admission by online reputation because you’ll be a representative of the school.
Both are just examples of the people who will want to take their online rep. serious right away, but everyone online should care.  You won’t always be in the same place you are right now…the future is unknown but you can take control of your reputation today.

Managing Your Online Reputation…Good or Bad
Google yourself.  What comes up?  Is everything on that first page relevant to you?  Does anything come up at all?

Nothing appears:  Yay!!  Nope…wait a minute…don’t get too excited and think you have a good online rep since nothing appears.  Unfortunately this is a really big negative.  You’d be better off having a few results with some “eh” information than nothing at all to be honest.  This is because most people will wonder why you’re not online at all…I mean, who isn’t online at least somewhat these days?  How are you going to adapt to change in a work environment if you haven’t even embraced the online revolution.

Results w/bad information:  The first few pages are filled with pictures of you passed out half naked, around illegal/criminal activities, negative comments about you from a frenemy, your manifesto of how much you hate your ex….then this means you’ve got a bad online reputation.  Its time to be worried.  These are the things people are seeing that represent you.  They don’t see that you’ve volunteered the past 10 years building homes, that your GPA is a perfect 5.0, or that you’re the youngest supervisor in your department.

Results w/relevant information:  Good job!!  You’ve been building your online credibility, which is a definite positive.  Now does each result directly correlate to you?  Click thru each link and see what people will see, don’t just assume it goes to the correct site because it may be a corrupt link.

Now that you know how you’re viewed, managing your reputation is key.  If you have a positive reputation, then ensure it stays this way.  If you have a negative reputation then you’ll want to fix it.  And if you have no reputation…BUILD ONE NOW!

These are some quick, simple tips on how to make sure you’re always building a positive reputation:

  1. Google yourself regularly.
    • I try to google myself at least 2x a week.  I want to continually make sure what appears on the first page of results is relevant to my personal brand because this is how I grow my business.  If you google me (Ana Santellana) you’ll see that 95% of the results generated within the first 10 pages are all relevant to me.
  2. Enhance your Security!
    • What I mean by this is, make sure you have to approve those photo/location tags.  You don’t want the world to see that you partied all night at the strip club and ended up puking out the window down the highway.  Yes, maybe your friends may find this hilarious but it doesn’t show you’re a person I’d want in charge of my financial investments or an athlete representing my school.
  3. TAKE CONTROL
    • This can be a hard one for some people (especially if you have no online reputation currently) because it means that you have to be active online.  One of simplest things to do is to consistently update your status on Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, Twitter…wherever you choose to be.  Log in once a day, throw out a positive status update or even share a link to some news article you find interesting, and then you’re done.  That’s it.  Simple as can be, but it can enhance your presence and build a positive reputation easily.
  4. Have fun with being online. 
    • Everyone thinks to have a good online reputation that you have to be 100% professional.  I disagree.  In my opinion, showing some personality will get your further and help you stand out.  Instagram, Spotify, Tumblr, Blogging sites…these are all places where you can go and be yourself (to an extent) and allow people to get to know you outside of social networks.  I share photos, my playlists, this blog, everything and anything I can because it’s what I love.  So what if someone else doesn’t love it…I’m letting the world get to know me, where I control whats being seen and I know it’s all helping me build a positive online reputation.



Feel free to ask questions or email me (anasantellana@gmail.com) if you want further info or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

Sources:
Infographic quote (http://mashable.com/2011/11/02/protecting-your-online-reputation/)
Cartoon Pic (http://spinsucks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Online-Reputation.gif)

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About Ana S.

A social media / networking junkie in Dallas, TX. I love to experience everything that life has to throw at me and learn from it. I'll share my thoughts, views, ideas with you and hope that you'll share back with me!

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