Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize: 3 Ways to Clean Up The Google Version of You
A comprehensive online presence is essential, regardless of where you are in your career. When someone comes across one of your online profiles, they should be able to see who you are, what you can do, and what you have to offer.
When you want to find out what time the next movie is showing or how old Goldie Hawn will be on her upcoming birthday, you ask Google. The same is true when you meet new people at networking events, apply for a job or receive a LinkedIn connection request — you turn to Google to find out more about them.
When people Google your name, you want your well-crafted LinkedIn profile to pop up near the top of the search results. With your personal website or portfolio rounding out those top positions, but what if, instead, they are greeted with your old Myspace page or some questionable photos from your college days? How can you erase your past and put your best career foot forward?
Regardless, of whether you are currently looking for a new job or your next client, it is important to perfect your personal brand online. Here are three steps you should take today to clean up the Google version of you.

Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize: 3 Ways to Clean Up The Google Version of You

1. Cleanse

Review all of your publicly visible profiles and delete anything potentially offensive. Things that seemed like a good idea in your teens and college years may not show you in the best light to potential employers or clients. Beyond being embarrassing, some posts can have more serious consequences.
When it comes to old profiles from your teens that you no longer use, like Myspace or Bebo, this may be the perfect time for a spring clean. Save any pictures you want to keep and then delete the account entirely. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Also, take this time to review your privacy settings so you know who your audience is. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram all have privacy settings that allow you to control who sees what you share.
Be aware though, having these privacy settings in place does not give you carte blanche to share whatever you want — nothing on the internet is truly private.
[RELATED: How to Avoid Social Networking Mistakes]

2. Tone

Now that you’ve removed the dead weight, it’s time to make sure there is consistency across your online profiles. If you’re a Digital Marketing Ninja on LinkedIn but a Freelance Cake Maker on Twitter, it can cause some confusion.
Brian Schepp, co-author of How to Find a Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ cautions that people don’t just check you on one profile, like LinkedIn: “the story you tell on each site should be pretty much the same, although it’s fine to adapt the material for the site.”
Look for some more relevant social or business networks you could join to build up your online profile. Are there groups specific to your industry? Are there business networks in your local area? Even consider sites like Fiverr where you could create a compelling profile and work on your side hustle.

3. Moisturize

So, you’ve deleted anything you don’t want to be public and found a couple of super relevant networks to join, now what?
Do you want to show off the charitable side of your personality or emphasize your awesome coding skills? Now is your chance to shout about your talents and curate your own content.
Your social media profiles all represent opportunities to showcase your knowledge and become a valued member of a professional community. Regardless of whether you want to build a traditional career or follow a unique career path, “LinkedIn is the main channel you should be focusing your energy on” advises Jennifer Bartley, Social Media and Communications Manager at Washington Frank.
Bartley shared some good advice that you could put into practice across all of your channels: “Make sure you check your spelling and grammar before hitting send to make sure you are presenting your best self and don’t forget to promote valuable content from other people too.”

Next Steps

Whatever stage in your career you are at, it is important to create a well-rounded online presence so whoever comes across your profile on any social network, business network or website can get a clear idea of who you are, what you can do, and what you have to offer.
It may be tempting to bury your head in the sand but it is better to know what would come
up when a potential employer, client, or business partner Googles your name. So go ahead and type your name into that search box and have a scroll through the results.

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