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3 Tips for Building and Maintaining a Strong Online Reputation

3 Tips for Building and Maintaining a Strong Online Reputation

For all of the advantages that social media and the internet offer us, young professionals are finding out that life in the shadows of the internet and viral sharing isn’t always beneficial.

That photo you wish you wouldn’t have taken at a party in college? Prospective employers can find it if they search hard enough. That tweet you sent out while you were upset with your ex? Colleagues will often judge your character based on information you post online.

And while you can’t always wipe your online image totally clean, you can start to build a positive online reputation that’s strong and professional.

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1. Launch a Professional Website

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    Every young professional needs a professional website. This serves as your online home and is something you can totally control. Think of it like your online real estate. Whereas things like social media profiles, images, and guest blogging profiles can theoretically be controlled by third-party networks, nobody can touch your website. It’s your real estate and only you determine the appearance and content.

    Start by buying your own domain name. Keep it short and simple. Try to get a .com domain name with your full name. If that’s already taken, a simple and logical abbreviation may work. Avoid getting too creative, though. If you’re forced to throw in extra words, it’ll look unprofessional.

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    Here’s an example of an effective professional website. Not only is the domain name good — it’s the entrepreneur’s full name — but the design is visually pleasing and functional.

    2. Brand Your Social Profiles

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      Next come your social profiles. This will require one part cleanup and another part brand building. The first part will largely depend on how long you’ve been active on social media and how much discretion you’ve showed in the past.

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      Start by cleaning up your profiles. Look through past photos and weed out ones that don’t paint you in a positive light. Read past statuses and delete ones that could be taken the wrong way. Adjust your settings on sites like Facebook to restrict tagging to approval-only.

      After cleaning up your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, it’s a good idea to build a LinkedIn profile (if you don’t already have one). This is how colleagues and employers will find you. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, they’ll question your professional image.

      Here’s an example of a great LinkedIn profile page. It’s for a company, but it shows all of the elements you want in a professional profile. It has quality images, comprehensive profile information, and direct links to any other websites and social profiles. Make sure you don’t leave any important fields blank.

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      3. Attach Content to Your Name

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        The third important tip is to begin attaching content to your name. In modern business, online content is currency. It gives your voice a chance to shine through and helps establish connections with other companies and individuals. Begin cultivating relationships as soon as possible. You never know when one connection will help you land another opportunity.

        Conclusion

        The trouble with the internet is that it never forgets. A single misstep can haunt you for years to come — both in your career and your personal life. With this in mind, make sure you practice discipline and patience. Only post information that will benefit you and never do anything that you don’t want displayed for the entire world to see.

        But remember, it’s not all negative. You shouldn’t have to tiptoe around the internet. By taking a proactive approach, you can actually leverage the internet to build a strong brand and make invaluable connections. Think about these tips and begin developing your own approach today!

        photo credit: Pinterest

        Featured photo credit: Tam Tran via flic.kr

        More by this author

        Anna Johansson

        Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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        Last Updated on April 25, 2019

        How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

        How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

        Shifting careers, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Whether your desire for a career change is self-driven or involuntary, you can manage the panic and fear by understanding ‘why’ you are making the change.

        Your ability to clearly and confidently articulate your transferable skills makes it easier for employers to understand how you are best suited for the job or industry.

        A well written career change resume that shows you have read the job description and markets your transferable skills can increase your success for a career change.

        3 Steps to Prepare Your Mind Before Working on the Resume

        Step 1: Know Your ‘Why’

        Career changes can be an unnerving experience. However, you can lessen the stress by making informed decisions through research.

        One of the best ways to do this is by conducting informational interviews.[1] Invest time to gather information from diverse sources. Speaking to people in the career or industry that you’re pursuing will help you get clarity and check your assumptions.

        Here are some questions to help you get clear on your career change:

        • What’s your ideal work environment?
        • What’s most important to you right now?
        • What type of people do you like to work with?
        • What are the work skills that you enjoy doing the most?
        • What do you like to do so much that you lose track of time?
        • Whose career inspires you? What is it about his/her career that you admire?
        • What do you dislike about your current role and work environment?

        Step 2: Get Clear on What Your Transferable Skills Are[2]

        The data gathered from your research and informational interviews will give you a clear picture of the career change that you want. There will likely be a gap between your current experience and the experience required for your desired job. This is your chance to tell your personal story and make it easy for recruiters to understand the logic behind your career change.

        Make a list and describe your existing skills and experience. Ask yourself:

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        What experience do you have that is relevant to the new job or industry?

        Include any experience e.g., work, community, volunteer, or helping a neighbour. The key here is ANY relevant experience. Don’t be afraid to list any tasks that may seem minor to you right now. Remember this is about showcasing the fact that you have experience in the new area of work.

        What will the hiring manager care about and how can you demonstrate this?

        Based on your research you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the new job or industry. Be specific and show how your existing experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Hiring managers will likely scan your resume in less than 7 seconds. Make it easy for them to see the connection between your skills and the skills that are needed.

        Clearly identifying your transferable skills and explaining the rationale for your career change shows the employer that you are making a serious and informed decision about your transition.

        Step 3: Read the Job Posting

        Each job application will be different even if they are for similar roles. Companies use different language to describe how they conduct business. For example, some companies use words like ‘systems’ while other companies use ‘processes’.

        When you review the job description, pay attention to the sections that describe WHAT you’ll be doing and the qualifications/skills. Take note of the type of language and words that the employer uses. You’ll want to use similar language in your resume to show that your experience meets their needs.

        5 Key Sections on Your Career Change Resume (Example)

        The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

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        Don’t forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that you’re not able to show in a resume.

        1. Contact Information and Header

        Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.

        Example:

        Jill Young

        Toronto, ON | [email protected] | 416.222.2222 | LinkedIn Profile

        2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

        This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

        Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that you’re applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?

        Example:

        Qualifications Summary

        • Experienced managing multiple stakeholder interests by building a strong network of relationships to support a variety of programs
        • Experienced at resolving problems in a timely and diplomatic manner
        • Ability to work with diverse groups and ensure collaboration while meeting tight timelines

        3. Work Experience

        Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.

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        How this section is structured will depend on your experience and the type of career change you are making.

        For example, if you are changing industries you may want to list your roles before the company name. However, if you want to highlight some of the big companies you’ve worked with then you may want to list the company name first. Just make sure that you are consistent throughout your resume.

        Be clear and concise. Use 1 to 4 bullets to highlight your relevant work experiences for each job you list on your resume. Ensure that the information demonstrates your qualifications for the new job. Remember to align all the dates on your resume to the right margin.

        Example:

        Work Experience

        Theater Production Manager (2018 – present)

        YourLocalTheater

        • Collaborated with diverse groups of people to ensure a successful production while meeting tight timelines

        4. Education

        List your formal education in this section. For example, the name of the degrees you received and the school who issued it. To eliminate biases, I would recommend removing the year you graduated.

        Example:

        Education

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        • Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario
        • Bachelor of Theater Studies with Honors, University of British Columbia

        5. Other Activities or Interests

        When you took an inventory of your transferable skills, what experiences were relevant to your new career path (that may not fit in the other resume sections?).

        Example:

        Other Activities

        • Mentor, Pathways to Education
        • Volunteer lead for coordinating all community festival vendors

        Bonus Tips

        Remember these core resume tips to help you effectively showcase your transferable skills:

        • CAR (Context Action Result) method. Remember that each bullet on your resume needs to state the situation, the action you took and the result of your experience.
        • Font. Use modern Sans Serif fonts like Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial.
        • White space. Ensure that there is enough white space on your resume by adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.5 cm. Your resume should be no more than two pages long.
        • Tailor your resume for each job posting. Pay attention to the language and key words used on the job posting and adjust your resume accordingly. Make the application process easy on yourself by creating your own resume template. Highlight sections that you need to tailor for each job application.
        • Get someone else to review your resume. Ideally you’d want to have someone with industry or hiring experience to provide you with insights to hone your resume. However, you also want to have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

        The Bottom Line

        It’s essential that you know why you want to change careers. Setting this foundation not only helps you with your resume, but can also help you to change your cover letter, adjust your LinkedIn profile, network during your job search, and during interviews.

        Ensure that all the content on your resume is relevant for the specific job you’re applying to.

        Remember to focus on the job posting and your transferable skills. You have a wealth of experience to draw from – don’t discount any of it! It’s time to showcase and brand yourself in the direction you’re moving towards!

        More Resources to Help You Change Career Swiftly

        Featured photo credit: Parker Byrd via unsplash.com

        Reference

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