Your Internet Presence – Part 4: A Good Impression

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The Good Way to Use the Internet

There are many ways to make a good impression through your Internet presence.  Although we are focusing on business etiquette, your overall presence is essential to your professional image.  And, remember, everyone is involved in business in some way.  A student’s business is focused on schoolwork and school-related and extracurricular activities, getting into college, earning a degree and preparing to launch a career.  No matter what stage of life you are in, establishing a good professional brand is a worthy goal.

Online Networking Sites

Let’s focus right now on networking sites, and how you can maximize your positive presence on them.  The current top five networking sites are listed below; click here to see the top 15 most popular social networking sites as of September 2012 and to obtain descriptions of each:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. MySpace
  5. Google Plus

While Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Google Plus are online social networks, many entrepreneurs and companies have are using them increasingly to promote their businesses.  Whichever purpose is your intent, ensure that all photos, comments, postings and all content are appropriate and respectable as well as attractive and interesting.  Anything that you publish online should be considered as public, despite all the privacy settings and restrictions you are able to apply.  There is always the possibility that you will overlook something or a technical glitch will occur that allows some unexpected glimpses into a site that you wish to restrict to a certain audience.  Therefore, you should consider anything and everything you post online as viewable by the world at large, and, constantly remind yourself that there is no guaranteed privacy on the Internet.  When the systems of large corporations and the government can be hacked and their most private documents exposed, every individual should know that he or she is also vulnerable to exposure.

Approach your content on these sites as you would a marketing or advertising campaign, with you yourself as the product.  Take control of the look, the content and who has access.  Set aside a period each day to review your sites and clean up anything that does not present you in the best light possible.  Review everything before you post.

In addition, do not take on too many sites to manage, as you might find that you do not have the time to devote enough time to each one.  Each site of which you are a member must be nurtured; if you neglect a site you will lose its networking power and diminish your presence there.  For example, trying to keep up with Facebook and Twitter, as well as establishing a website and starting a blog might cause something to suffer from lack of attention.  As in most areas of your life, choose quality over quantity.

LinkedIn

For your professional image, establishing a presence on LinkedIn is, in my opinion, essential.  Its increasing popularity and usage by professionals in numerous fields worldwide.  Just as it’s never too soon to construct your resume, it’s never too early to create your profile on LinkedIn.   By the time you are a junior in high school – yes, I said high school– you should begin to populate your LinkedIn profile and establish connections.

Many consider in LinkedIn to be vitally important to the networking and job search success of most recent grads as well as experienced professionals.  A recent study confirmed that 93% of the human resources and recruitment professionals surveyed use LinkedIn in their recruiting, interviewing and hiring processes.  The same study revealed that 89 % of companies expect to increase hiring this year.  Moreover, Macroeconomic Advisers has projected that as things stand now, the steadily improving economy will result in 11.8 million jobs added over the next four years.

And, to help you establish your LinkedIn webpage and profile, I have invited career counselor Lyn Nelson to present a guest post on LinkedIn next Tuesday, September 18th.  Don’t miss it!

SWOT

To improve your chances of landing a job and retaining it, as well as maintaining upward mobility, using the SWOT analysis chart you created (see previous post), complete the Strengths and Opportunity sections to assess your Internet presence thus far.

Anniversary of September 11th

Finally, as it is September 11th, let’s remember to take a moment to reflect on those who were lost 11 years ago in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, and to wish all the best to the survivors.

Let Me Know…

As always, please use the Comment section to advise of any questions or comments you may have. Your feedback is important to help keep me updated on your needs, which will help me to address them.

 

Until next time,

Jeanne

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