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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

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        Anna Johansson

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

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        Last Updated on August 19, 2019

        20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

        20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

        A resume describes your critical skills in a way that compels a hiring manager to want to meet you. That is a resume’s sole purpose.

        And make no mistake: Writing a resume is an art.

        Today each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes on average, and somehow yours will need to rise above the competition. It’s actually harder to snag an interview from an online posting than to get into Harvard. But don’t let that intimidate you. Instead, open your laptop, roll up your proverbial sleeves, and let’s get to work!


        Employers generally prefer candidates with skills that show leadership ability, problem-solving ability, and perseverance through challenges. So in the resume, you should demonstrate that you’re a dynamic candidate.

        Refine the skills on your resume so that you incorporate these resume “musts:”

        1. Leadership Ability

        Even an entry-level employee can show leadership. Point out how your skills helped your department ascend to a new level. Capture leadership attributes with compelling statements.

        Example:

        “Led change that drove efficiency and an ability to cut 800 error-free payroll checks.”

        2. Problem-Solving Ability

        Most employees are hired to solve problems. Showcase that ability on your resume.

        Example:

        “Led staff in campaign to outrival top competitor’s market share during a down cycle.”

        3. Perseverance

        Have you been promoted several times? Or have you maintained margins in a down cycle? Both achievements demonstrate persistence. You look like someone who can navigate roadblocks.

        4. Technical Skills

        Consider including a Key Skills or Technology Skills section in which you list computer and software skills.

        Example:

        “Expert-level knowledge in Java.”

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        5. Quantified Results

        Nothing is quite as attractive as objective results. Did you increase sales by 25 percent? Win three new clients? Surpass the internal goal by 15 percent?

        Use hard-hitting numbers to express your point. State the result first, and then provide a sentence or phrase describing the critical skills you applied to achieve the milestone.

        Example:

        “Boosted sales by 200 percent by developing new online platform that made it easier for customers to compare and contrast sizes, textures, and fit.”

        6. People Skills

        Employers prefer congenial staff members to prima donnas or mavericks. Relate your strongest soft skills.

        Example:

        “Organized, hard-working staffer who listens well and communicates effectively.”

        7. Passion in the Field

        Recruiters and hiring managers can intuit whether candidates care about their career performance by the dynamism behind the descriptions of their skills on their resumes. Are your efforts “transformational” or merely “useful?” Were your results “game-changing” or boringly “appropriate?”

        The tenor of your words reveals whether you’re passionate or passive. (But don’t overdo it. See the “Hyperbole” section below.)

        8. Being the Entrepreneur within the Corporation

        Whether you took the initiative to create a new synergy or worked independently to land an opportunity, share how you furthered organizational goals through your self-directed efforts.

        9. Your Adaptability

        Have you switched career paths? Weathered a corporate takeover?

        Make it clear that your resilience helped get you and your organization through the turbulence.

        10. Confirming Your Expertise

        Every job posting states experience requirements. Ideally, you want to meet these requirements or best them. But don’t exaggerate.


        While proving that you possess the credentials described in the job posting, you can still stand out if you are able to offer additional special skills to showcase your personality.

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        Consider adding any of these special accomplishments, if true:

        11. Referencing Award-Winning Talents

        If you played center on your college basketball team that made it into the Top 10 finals, then working collaboratively and cooperatively are among your natural callings. Be sure to say so.

        12. Unveiling Your Work Persona

        If you were repeatedly singled out for your stellar performance in work settings, becoming employee-of-the-month, top revenue generator, and so on — it’s worth mentioning.

        13. Capitalizing on Commonalities

        From Googling the hiring manager, you discover that she was formerly a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize. Listing your Spanish immersion course in Central America may draw her attention to the other outstanding skills on your resume.

        14. Highlighting Creative Tactics

        If, for example, in your HR role, you piloted an employee incentive program that became an industry model, include it. Such innovative thinking will command an employer’s attention.

        15. Specifying All Accolades

        Listing any honors received instills confidence that you will bring that level of perfectionism forward in a corporate environment.

        16. Transferable Skills

        You spend your spare time conducting your community orchestra. Highlight this after-hours pursuit to show that you have the critical skills needed to keep a team on task.


        Take note: Hyperbole can hurt you. So, show your credibility.

        Although it may be tempting to use embellishments to boost your experience, improve your job title, or enhance your education, resist. These days, a five-minute search will reveal the truth. And taking self-inflation too far could easily come back to destroy your career.

        Hiring managers have their antenna up for resume hyperbole. A survey shows that 53 percent are suspicious that candidates are often dishonest.

        Follow these guiding principles when writing your own resume:

        17. Accurately Describing Your Degree

        Make sure to differentiate between certificates attained and degrees earned, along with the name of the institution awarding them.

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        18. Stating Job Duration with Honest Dates

        Honesty is the only policy when reporting the length of a particular job. If you’ve been out of work for an extended period of time, state the reason you have gaps.

        Whether you traveled, had to cope with a family emergency, or went back to school to change your professional track, communicate the positive outcome that came from the hiatus.

        19. Claiming Only the Skills You Truly Possess

        Unless you’re proficient in a software program or are fluent in a second language, leave any mention of them off.

        Conversely, if you feel like you must include them, then accurately qualify your level of competence.

        20. Being Honest About Your Role in a Project

        You may think you were the lead person because you did most of the work, but chances are your supervisor thinks otherwise.

        Besides the 20 critical skills to include on your resume, here’re some important notes for you.

        Bonus Tips for Writing a Resume

        You Only Have 6 to 7 Seconds to Impress the Employer

        Hiring managers and artificial intelligence “bots” may spend only 6 to 7 seconds perusing your resume, which means you need it to teem with essential skills, quantifiable achievements, and action words.

        If, in fact, you believe that a “bot” will be analyzing your resume before it even lands on a hiring manager’s desk, be sure to include some of the actual key words from the posting in your document. There’s no reason why you can’t customize your resume to each job posting.

        Another tip: Be sure to show your resume to a few individuals who work in your field, so that you can fine-tune the information as needed.

        Starting at the Top

        The Objective at the top of your resume is optional if you’re seeking the same job you already have, just at different company. However, if you’re switching fields, it’s critical to include an Objective, which is a one-sentence summary of the job you want.

        For example:

        Objective: To become web editor at a thriving news website.

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        If you’ve been in your field for ten years or more, you will probably want to include an Executive Summary. This is a one-sentence takeaway about who you are, including the critical skills you amassed throughout your career.

        For example:

        Executive Summary: Award-winning creative director with over ten years experience managing teams on three continents.

        Depending on your field, you may also want to add some skills as bullet points in the Executive Summary section.

        And what about your Education? If you graduated from college within the past ten years, include your Education just below the Objective section (and forgo the Executive Summary). If it’s been over ten years since you graduated, then include your Education at the very end of your resume. Only cite your grade point average (G.P.A.) if it was exceptional—3.7 G.P.A. or higher, or if you won scholastic awards.

        Ideally, the critical skills you amassed during college, at your previous job, and throughout your career will add up to a riveting portrait of a professional who’s ideally suited for your dream position: You.

        Tailor, Tweak, and Fine-Tune

        If you’re targeting different kinds of organizations, you’ll need customized resumes for each outreach.

        Don’t be afraid to parrot some of the words on the list of requirements back to the company. Many times, organizations will actually use the key words mentioned in the job posting when screening resumes.

        Approach Your Resume as a Skills-Based Story

        Like any good storyteller, lay out the framework at the beginning. Include the skills you’ve mastered and state how you can add value—wording your sentences in a way that reflects the specific job you’re seeking.

        Are you vying for a sales position? Quantify your results: “Responsible for 50 percent of all sales that resulted in $750,000 in annual revenue.” Use your critical skills, peppered throughout your resume, to tell the exciting story of your distinguished professional career!

        Researching the organization that you’re targeting will help you make your examples specific. Does the company cater to a particular audience or clientele? Be sure to note any experiences you’ve had with similar audiences.

        Putting It All Together

        A resume is not a laundry list. It tells a cohesive story. Your story should highlight your qualifications and critical skills in a way that makes a logical, well-constructed case for your compatibility with the organization and its advertised position.

        Packaging your story into the concisely prescribed format of a resume means that it will read as a synopsis — one that will hopefully land you the job.

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        Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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