Two of the most important things to know about yourself are your credit score and your online presence. You can change or correct errors or problems on both but only if you look.
We spoke about how nosey everyone is these days, constantly snooping about each other online. What a potential employer or client finds might affect your career. So take a closer look at what could be a valuable asset and make sure it’s not a liability. (Review my previous story on resume keywords).
Let’s say you do a search for yourself and you see something you don’t quite like. This happens more than you think and there are ways to deal with it. First of all, remain calm. Before you leap to all sorts of conclusions contact the people responsible for posting the information by email and nicely state why you believe the information to be untrue and ask if they would be willing to take it down.
Not sure who is running the site or who to contact? Try this website to see if they are listed: www.whois.domaintools.com. If it’s listed look for “Admin Email” and contact them at that address. If they aren’t listed, there will be a technical contact with an email address available. You can also go to Google Content Removal with your plea but it’s very time consuming, so be patient.
Now most of the time simply asking someone to change something is enough, but for those rare instances when it isn’t, you can take further action. I suggest contacting a lawyer who can report Terms and Conditions Violations for you.
Many of the things people dislike about their reflection in the “digital mirror” can be found on Facebook. Facebook can assist you if necessary but many times that photo of you holding a beer in each hand (Hey, I know one was for your husband who went to the rest room, but the photo doesn’t say that!) can be easily removed when you simply ask.
You may be feeling fortunate when you search for yourself online and find nothing, nada, zero. Not so quick. You may not want derogatory information about you on the Internet, but you do need to have a presence online.
So if you need to take steps to remove offending information and photographs that could damage your reputation, act now to do so. The next step is going to build some impressive content about yourself online, controlling in a very positive manner what people see and think about you. Stay tuned.
Jason Veduccio is a hard-working entrepreneur following his dreams, and he wants you to dream, too. Drawing on his experiences working with companies on marketing, technology, hiring, and workplace issues, his regular column will demystify the job search process and identify strategies for moving up the corporate ladder. Founder of In1Concepts, Jason also knows the ins and outs of launching a new business. He welcomes your questions and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.