Keeping Your Online Identity Professional
Renee Weisman | Excelle
Facebook recently started a new group called the “six degrees of separation”. An ambitious undertaking, the leader asked each participant to send a group notice to everyone in his or her contact list in order to determine if it was possible to contact every single person on Facebook (over 30 million viewers) with six or fewer connections.
I am not sure whether this undertaking will prove that everyone is connected to everyone else by six degrees of separation, but it certainly got me thinking about the vast reach of the digital network.
Unlike any other networking opportunity, the internet has to potential to connect you to more people with more opportunities than any other medium. That fact makes it critical to have a positive and professional online reputation, especially for women.
(Inherently, women have fewer natural contacts than men, because men often network at sports events, over a round of golf, or by having a few drinks after work. The internet is gender neutral.)
If you are looking for a new job, you can be sure that the hiring manager will do an internet search on you. If you are in a large firm and are looking to be promoted to a senior position, you can be sure the promotion committee will check your digital profile. If you are looking for consulting or sales opportunities, the internet provides firms with a fast way to check you out. And they will!
Are you digitally distinctive in a positive way? If you are not sure, Google yourself. Do the same on your company’s intranet and other search engines (yahoo, altavista, pch, etc). Are you there? Do you like what you see? If not, it is time to reinvigorate your online image. You may be amazed at what your first search shows.