When someone Googles you, there are minimal expectations.

Here are three things every professional can do to manage their online reputation:

Check the security and privacy settings on your social media accounts, especially Facebook. For Facebook, on your desktop, click the triangle at the top right hand corner. Choose settings. I suggest reviewing all of the options here, but pay special attention to the Privacy section. Once you’ve gone through this, look at the top of the page again and click the question mark next to the triangle. Choose the Privacy Checkup and Privacy Shortcuts options, and make sure everything is as you want it.

This will help you manage who can see what parts of your profile. Please keep in mind, no matter how tight you feel your privacy settings are, there is always the chance that something you meant for private goes public… screenshots have gotten many people into situations they didn’t mean to be in.

Create a basic LinkedIn profile. For many years LinkedIn was predominantly known as a job search website. It is soooo much more now! It’s the one social media profile every professional is expected to have. It doesn’t have to be as extensive as your resume, but it should highlight who you are and major accomplishments. Think of your LinkedIn profile as “the thing” people will look for before meeting you in real life.

Google yourself. Open a private or incognito window in your browser and Google yourself. Do you like what you see? Are there profiles out there you forgot about? Are there things you need to update with recent accomplishments? If you’re lucky, nothing will come up in this search that you don’t already know about. But, you should be sure there is nothing you need to know about it.

Here are a few ways to search:

  • name only
  • name and city
  • name and state
  • name and company

These are the basic things you can do to manage your online reputation. If you want to go further, there are many ways to build a more robust online presence.

However, not everyone needs to blog, share expert advice, tweet, etc. Think about what you want to accomplish and let that guide where you spend time. I’ll talk more about this in future posts. In the meantime, I hope this helps!