1. Set yourself up with a profile on the high traffic social networking sites that are relevant to you. You want to make sure that if someone Googles your name that you will be easily found.
2. Ensure that you fill out your profiles as completely as possible, remembering to include a head shot photo.
3. Put some time aside to familiarise yourself with the bigger social networks. They can be very powerful and useful for you in terms of progressing your career so a little time investing up front could pay dividends later. Quite literally!
4. Always use a professionally taken photo. You have to look your best remember. Ensure that your photo is a recent one so that you are recognisable. And, aim to use the same photo across all your profiles, to build consistency. The photo needs to be close one, as the images often appear quite small. We want to see your face!
5. When choosing a username for sites such as Twitter, pick a name that is obviously you – i.e. your name, or variations of. Using cryptic names or using lots of numbers will in time begin to look quite unprofessional. They are also much harder to remember, which means you are unlikely to be found.
6. Try to use the same username across all sites. This can be hard so take some time to find a username that is likely to be available. Consistency in username means that if people connect with you in one site or network, that they are more likely to find you in others.
7. Buy your name as a web domain. You might not want to do anything with it, but at least no one else can use it to create negative or irrelevant content. Managing your digital reputation is about damage limitation too.
8. Decide what you want to be known for. This is a big one and not to be rushed. Once you put information online it stays there so only put things up that you’re happy with and that enhance your career and life prospects.
9. Engage in the rich tapestry of the web, don’t just stand from the sidelines and watch – no one will see you there. Comment on other peoples’ blogs, maybe write your own, but take part!
10. Set yourself up with Google Alerts to track instances of your name online. This enables you to find out quickly if some negative content is doing the rounds so you can sort it out. You might also want to track key words in your area of expertise or your industry. If you blog this helps you to blog about subjects as they arise and can help you to be perceived as a thought leader.