There has been a lot of hype lately around social media and the impact that online social media is actually having on individuals seeking employment or even those that are employed. The legal boundaries of what can and cannot be done can appear a bit blurred, however even with this being the case; it is your responsibility as a professional to know what others can see if they look for you online. It is far from illegal to have an online profile. Nearly everyone you talk to lately will try and connect with you on Facebook, or LinkedIn for that matter. But where the challenge is in ensuring that you remain focused on managing your own reputation online.
So have you google’d yourself lately?
Or yahoo’d, or bing’d or whatever search platform takes your fancy? I google my own name regularly. It is quite interesting to see others with my name and what they do; and funny in that there are 2 other Rebecca Fraser’s, one here in Australia, that works in the same field as me. I want to know what others can find out about me and ensure that I am happy that this is what they are seeing. I look at all of the different selections, such as images and scholarly articles, just in case. I specify my search down to my local region as well as globally. This ensures that I manage exactly what others might be seeing if they are being quite specific in their search. If I see something that intrigues me, I look further in to this so that I can ensure that I am ‘happy’ for it to be seen as something representing my brand in particular. For some of you more “technical” people out there, I would even use a different platform just to make sure that I can see all search results regardless. But for me I am aware of how online media is impacting me, for those that have not taken an interest in this area you may be amazed at what you can find! There are a number of things that you can do to make sure your personal life remains personal and can not be used to discriminate against your career. Things such as having a private Facebook page and not allowing others to tag you in photos is a great start.