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. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project


    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]