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How to Protect Your Online Reputation

Nearly half of all prospective employers research job applicants online. Make sure that what you're posting today doesn't cost you a dream job tomorrow!


  • Step 1: Consider what would happen in the long-run Ask yourself, "How would I feel if my parents or boss saw this?" before you post anything online because, chances are, they will!
  • TIP: Remember this golden rule: Once you've put something out there, it's nearly impossible to take it back.
  • Step 2: Avoid poor spelling and grammar Avoid poor spelling and grammar in your postings online or on a resume. Some employers admit not hiring people because of this.
  • Step 3: Change your privacy and search settings Check your privacy and search settings on social networking sites to make sure that only pre-selected friends can view and find your page and photos.
  • TIP: Be aware that you may not be protected if your friends share pictures of you with their friends.
  • Step 4: Remove offensive comments from your site Take advantage of the "block comments" feature on your web site, which allows you to remove offensive comments from other people.
  • Step 5: Use an alias Use an alias or alternate e-mail address to post comments online.
  • TIP: Sign up for a social-networking profile using an alternate e-mail address instead of your primary one. That way, it'll be harder for people to find your profile by searching with your e-mail address.
  • Step 6: Be polite online Don't flame anyone, don't respond to flamers, and keep your bad feelings about people offline.
  • Step 7: Search for yourself online Search your name online and see what comes up. Ask the webmasters of particular sites to remove anything by you or about you that you find offensive. You can also sign up to receive an e-mail alert that will notify you whenever your name appears in a new place on the web.
  • FACT: According to a survey, 14 percent of employers would not consider job candidates who sent them an e-mail using an emoticon.

You Will Need

  • Common sense
  • Self-control

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