Dan Sorensen, President of online reputation management firm Big Blue Robot, has released guidelines for graduates to develop and protect their online reputations.
“Because current college graduates will most likely be changing jobs a number of times over the next 20 years, the reputation they build at a single company won’t be worth much as they look for other opportunities-or if other opportunities come looking for them,” said Sorensen. “That’s why it’s important to start cultivating a great online reputation now, so these graduates can be ready for the future.”
Sorensen argues that because a ‘job for life’ is no longer a realistic outcome for most people the reputation they build up in the work place is less important that it used to be and now people should be more concerned about maintaining an excellent online reputation to best serve them throughout their numerous job, and even profession, switches.
His recommendations include registering social media profiles and domain names now rather than waiting to become successful, and being wary of what you write online. He notes that it’s important to keep comments on the internet clean and professional as anything you write online is probably going to be accessible forever.
Sorensen suggest that graduates should contribute to blogs and sites that pertain to their area of expertise or interest as this can not only build their own online profile and reputation, but also make them much more visible to search engines.
Lastly, Sorensen advocates that graduates be vigilant of their online reputation, noting some free tools that graduates can use, like Google Alerts, that will notify graduates when their name is mentioned online. “When you see these alerts, check out the reference and thank the person or organization for mentioning you,” adds Sorensen. “If the mention was not positive, work with the individual to resolve any problems that may have occurred. If you can fix these little problems now, you won’t have to face them in the future when someone important is searching for you online.”