Anything you post on the Internet that is inappropriate or gives you a negative image is out there for LIFE. All it takes is for one person to see it, respond to it, or copy and paste it and that thing you posted when you were angry, or upset, or when you just were thinking straight is now out their for the world to see and sorry to tell you but chances of someone not noticing it are really slim. So when you are on a social networking site or on any site on the internet think hard and long about what you display, post, like, or comment on because it could be the reason why you’re not getting that interview to the job you applied for.

Of course it’s not always easy to screen everything you put out online but there are some good ways to help you so you don’t make that mistake of doing harm to your online image. The internet has spread and everyone is using it now that Wi-Fi and high-speed are convenient and affordable options. Social networking sites are growing just as fast and now employers aren’t just relying on your cover letter, resume, and references they are looking at your online image to get a sense of who you really are outside the professional setting.

To help you maintain a professional image online there are many tips and hints so that you can rest easy when your next potential future employer decides to “Google” your name. A statistic from says that 69% of Americans are actively seeking work so if an employer has a choice between you and others applying for the job and they have a professional online image and you don’t then guess what, your competition probably just swayed the employer in their direction.

Things that cause a negative online image are; profanity, bad spelling/grammar, illegal drugs, alcohol, sexual, and religious. Stay away from posting, liking or even commenting on any of these things because if it can be linked back to you then you’ve just jeopardize your online image.

Some tips for having a positive online image are; displaying your contact information, avoiding the things I’ve listed above, having things that show character, qualifications, creativity, communication skills, good references and awards, and of course never ever have anything negative about your past, current or future employers, co-workers, or the business. Having this will make an employer doubt whether to give you a chance because they don’t want themselves, or their business represented poorly over social media / the internet.

The things I’m going to do to clean up my online image are; by deleting or removing  any photos, content and links that could work against you in the employer’s eyes. before I begin my job search, by being selective about who I have as friends, and by not mentioning my job search on any social media site. Even though once you post something online it’s out there forever you should still go through your profiles with a fine tooth comb to make sure inappropriate things are hidden or removed / not linked to your name. This is the first step in making your profile presentable so it’s important. Next I would go through my friends list because others can see my friends when they search me. I would  make sure to remove  any of them if they could damage my image by posting inappropriate content or images of me or of anything that it won’t be linked to my name or my profile and so when my employer looks up my name their will be nothing that I don’t want them to see. Lastly I will refrain from advertising that I’m looking for a new job because my current employer might fire me or a potential employer might assume that if you search for a new job on your current company’s time, why wouldn’t you do so on theirs?

Your online image should highlight your name and what you’ve got to bring to the table. If you have a positive online image then you could be one step ahead of the other people applying for the same job because they might not be so cautious. Using social media appropriately can help you get your name out there and not affect our reputation. For a list of other ideas on how to make your profiles professional ones click this link -> Online Positive Images.