One of the resume writers, who works closely with Aspire! wrote a fabulous article on how to manage your online identity. I am including it below for those of you just learning about sites such as LinkedIn and Zoominfo.
5 KEY POINTS TO BUILD AND MANAGE YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY
Like it or not, technology is a core part of almost any professional’s world, whether it be a programmer or an insurance broker. The programmer leverages technology to create business solutions, while the broker might use it to identify new leads, investigate innovative marketing strategies online, or even to look for a new job.
Whether you are a techie or not, there are some critical things that you need to know and do when it comes to the internet. #1 – periodically Google your name and see what comes up. If anything remotely negative appears, you need to know that potential hiring authorities are going to be able to view that same information, so do whatever you possibly can to remove it from the internet or seek out ways to perform “damage control”.
Even if you don’t find anything harmful about yourself, and I hope you don’t — #2 be sure to check what you have available to the public at large on any networking sites like Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn, (the latter is geared more towards to professional networking). Employers and recruiters trolling the net are apt to visit these sites to find out about candidates they might be interested in. So keep your profile clean and devoid of any possible controversial topics. It’s okay to have some personal information on sites like Facebook or MySpace, but just make sure it’s innocuous–if not, then use the site’s option to make that information available only to certain restricted groups.
#3 – If you aren’t on LinkedIn or Facebook, I’d strongly suggest that you consider setting up a profile on either or both or any of the other reputable networking sites like ZoomInfo or Ziggs. Not only is it easy to do, even for the technically-challenged, but it’s just plain cutting-edge. These sites enable you to connect with others that you might want to be in contact with or reconnect with, and allows you the opportunity to have access to resources, including possible job opportunities that you might not have ever previously considered.
#4 – Take the time to create a well-written and compelling profile about yourself. Having an online presence on a networking site should provide value to others and help you to build good relationships with the kinds of people that you want to reach out to, so it’s vital that you appear in a very positive and interesting manner.
#5 – Invest time periodically in building your network of contacts, and when you do so, be sure to advise people that if they don’t want to connect with you, they should ignore your invitation and not decline it. This is of paramount importance on LinkedIn because if you receive 5 declines to invitations, you are automatically removed from the site.
To sum it up, it’s easy to build and manage a strong online presence. Just follow the rules of good professional etiquette and be discriminating about the information you choose to share with the public at large because the internet is accessed by more than 600 million people every day.