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. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum


    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks


    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday


    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  5. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes


    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community over the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at the DOT’s Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Avenue.