Your personal PR image online

Is your online presence scattered all over the Web? What does it look like?  The first thing 75% of recruiters and new spouses do is GOOGLE you because they want to learn more about you. Let’s hope your ‘internet footprint’ makes a good first impression.

Everything you share online cultivates your personal brand.  Ideally that activity will work for you but it can also work against you – usually when you least expect it. Items you upload, comments you post, entries you tweet are indexed and can often be unearthed using traditional search engines.

Many professionals can clearly benefit from having an online presence so I’m not suggesting that you hide behind the curtain. It can be equally damning for some people to have zero online presence because it’s similar to ‘not being published’.

If you want to establish a positive online presence, think twice about posting those crazy Mexico vacation party videos on YouTube. Instead, focus on leaving an online ‘bread crumb trail’ that you’ll feel comfortable with for years to come.

Here are some tips to consider as you build your image online:

•    Beware of what you share on social networks (I already mentioned this but it bears repeating!)

•    Quality is more important than quantity

•    Use it as an opportunity to build thought leadership, expertise and your personal brand

•    Understand the social media pertinent to your target audience and use those tools to communicate with them

If you’re reluctant to use social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Squidoo, YouTube, etc), you may be missing out on a chance to connect with key audiences and opening the door for someone else to do it. So don’t be shy, just be careful.