In today’s world we share everything at the click of a mouse. We want our friends and family to understand what’s important to us, look at our life experiences and enjoy our latest vacation. We are all constantly connected thanks to smart watches, cell phones, tablets and more. This same sentiment holds true for any employer. Take a minute to search for your name on any search engine. Are you happy or horrified by the results? It is that easy for someone to access a plethora of information that you have willingly or unwillingly shared on the internet. While our intended audience is our family and friends, it is no longer acceptable to ignore the unintended audience, which often times includes future employers. Listed below are some tips for cleaning up your online reputation and help you take ownership of your personal brand.

Who Are You on a Google Search?

Start this process by searching for yourself using any search engine. You may find a large online presence or nothing at all depending upon how active you’ve been. While seeing nothing may appear to be a great thing, this may not be the case. Having zero online presence can be equally as damaging in today’s world. This is when referring back to our article about how to create an effective LinkedIn profile can come in handy. As an active job seeker, you need to be thinking about how your online presence is interpreted by someone that might want to employ you.

How to Increase a Positive Online Presence

Maybe you followed our advice and created a polished LinkedIn profile, but what you want your search results to say about you is not even showing up on the first three pages–let alone the top of the first page. One little secret that can make a huge difference is becoming more active on LinkedIn. Update your profile frequently, reach out to old connections and make an effort to make new ones. This all counts as activity. Another thing you can do is create a website. Whether it is a blog, or a portfolio site, this will increase your chances of ranking higher in the search results, as well as giving you unlimited control in building your own personal brand.

How to Delete a Bad Reputation

It is possible, and often times likely, that you will stumble upon personal information or find an incriminating photo from spring break circa 2010. Are you doomed? No. Luckily search engines, like Google, offer you some relief. Contrary to popular belief, you can petition the Google Webmaster to remove information. Based upon their removal standards, and what you are asking to have removed, Google will be able to remove unwanted information from the search.

While there are many tips and tricks out there, these are the three are a great place to start. Building a positive online presence can seem like a daunting task at first as you wade through past posts, photos and information, but can also be an incredibly powerful method to build your personal brand and have some control of what a future employer sees when they inevitably search for you.