Make us your home page
Jobs | Internet profile

Manage your online brand

Clean up your digital dirt. How many times have workers and job hunters been told that? How often can we still find a trail of embarrassing party pictures and rude or politically insensitive comments posted on people's Facebook pages? Social media, as everyone knows, makes the personal public.

You may not be able to monitor or control everything that creates your online image, but you should try.

Job recruiters Google your name. They look for you on Facebook. They check out your LinkedIn profile and read what others say about you. They research Internet user groups and join discussions.

I'm repeatedly surprised by job hunters who bristle at this "intrusion" into their lives. They just don't get it.

The truth is that there's relatively little privacy in cyberspace.

Surely it's no longer news that workers have been fired for posting photos or comments that don't fit with employers' ideas of what their employees should be.

And is anyone really surprised that job applicants have been jettisoned as candidates because of image killers as simple as having stupid e-mail addresses?

Sadly, my inbox still gets mail from job hunters with addresses like "luvbabe." Why do you think they don't get responses from hirers?

There are many savvy, well-informed job hunters who are doing everything right. They don't deserve criticism for a faulty Internet technique.

But for those workers and wannabe workers who haven't been paying attention, let me emphasize this:

Employer surveys repeatedly say that talent is hard to find and good jobs are going unfilled. There is a job market mismatch between available jobs and the skills or experience of many applicants.

Workers need to do everything in their power to present a polished, professional image online. That won't land them a job or job security, but it will help keep them in the mix for consideration.

Management guru Tom Peters warned years ago that we each are "the brand called you." What message does your online brand send?

Manage your online brand 09/01/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 1, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. New stores coming to Tyrone Square Mall, like Bath & Body Works


    Tyrone Square Mall will welcome a half dozen new stores, like Bath & Body Works and MidiCi's The Neapolitan Pizza Company, this summer.

  2. Target Corp. reaches $18.5 million settlement with 47 states over data breach


    Target Corp. has agreed to pay Florida $928,963 out of a newly-announced $18.5 million settlement over a huge data breach that occurred in late 2013.

    Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have reached an $18.5 million settlement with Target Corp. to resolve the states' probe into the discounter's massive pre-Christmas data breach in 2013. 
[Associated Press]
  3. Gov. Rick Scott's family history of alcohol abuse could decide 'liquor wall' bill


    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott must decide Wednesday whether to let Walmart and other big-box stores sell liquor, and he says a factor in his decision is the history of alcohol abuse in his family.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott is considering a veto of a bill that would allow Walmart, Target and other big box retail stores to sell liquor. [Andres Leiva | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021


    TAMPA — Record rainfall in Los Angeles ultimately may end Tampa Bay's drought of hosting the Super Bowl.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 

Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  5. As St. Petersburg's Jabil Circuit broadens its business, it shrinks its name to Jabil


    St. Petersburg's Fortune 500 company, Jabil Circuit, informally tossed aside the "Circuit" in its name some time ago. That's because circuit board manufacturing, the company's core business for decades, has been squeezed out by a broader business agenda ranging from consumer packaging to supply chain management.

    Jabil Circuit informally dropped "Circuit" from its marketing material and signage, like at its St. Petersburg headquarters, years ago. Now it's official.
[Times file photo]