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It doesn’t really matter whether you are trying to get a job or get a date, chances are someone is going to Google you whether you know it or not. Every picture, post, tag, tweet, and share says something about you. From last year’s Holiday parties to your Grandmother’s birthday party, one simple search is all it takes for employers to know more about you than what is on your resume.

Here are a few moves that can help you take control and protect your online reputation.

Avoid the Overshare. It is often easy to overshare on Facebook, especially if you are particularly emotional. As a golden rule, if you wouldn’t share it with both your boss and your mother, it probably shouldn’t be on Facebook. If you have a hard time deciphering what is and is not appropriate, there are third-party websites designed to scan your own online activity and warn you if you’ve shared too much.

Google Alerts. It is very simple to set up a Google alert that will notify you anytime your name is used in on a website, newspaper, article, or blog. Simple sign up for Google Alerts and you will get an email anytime your name is mentioned online. This is a good way to stay on top of what is out there.

Create Your Own Content. Often the best way to protect your online image is to create it yourself. Create YouTube videos, or blog articles that highlight your talents. It usually takes at least six months to build a steady reputation of positive content.

Untag Yourself. Go through your Facebook and Instagram posts and make sure that your personal information and photos can only be seen by friends and family. Even if you are diligent and responsible with what you post online, your friends may not be. If someone tags you in an unflattering photo, Facebook now asks for your approval before publishing the tag. This new development makes it easier to untag yourself than ever before. There are also apps that allow you to find, manage, and remove unwanted tags.

Kill It With Kindness. A little social media every day is the best way to protect bad search engine results. If you have less-than-flattering reviews online, the only way to push them down is to cover them with glowing reviews. Consistent, positive, and well-written content will eventually push the negative stuff to the bottom.

Google yourself. Blog posts, online comments, and other content can cause trouble for you professionally and damage your online reputation. Even if you can’t remove everything online, you can take action on profiles and websites that you own. Go over your profiles, blogs, and other websites associated with your name to make sure they reflect a professional personality, and delete anything that may reflect poorly on you.

Using Professional Services. Intelius is an Internet data-gathering powerhouse that provides background checks for about $40. That means that your boss, your co-workers, your mother, or your roommate can find out just about anything about you for $40. However, Intelius also provides a product called TrueRep, which allows you to not only see what is on your public record, but also annotate it and provide explanations where necessary.  TrueRep also provides an assessment of your online exposure and has reputation management tools.

At Triumph Strategic Consulting, reputation management is important to us. Contact us for more information on how to control and manage your online persona.

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