In business, as in life, reputation is everything.
In this ever changing digital world we live in, your on-line reputation is fragile and can sustain damage from even a simple off-handed remark.

What makes up your digital reputation?
Your digital reputation is the image that you present online though all digital means, including platforms like Twitter, Facebook & Google+, as well as blogs, websites, YouTube, message boards, email, text messages, even apps.

What can I do to keep my reputation squeaky clean?

On top of everything else we have to do these days, each of us is responsible for managing our own personal and professional image in the digital world, where an image or bit of information can spread like virus and can carry significant consequences.

Our friends at IBM in Armonk take digital reputation very seriously, and have even compiled advice for job-seekers at Big Blue to keep their online identities pristine.  Here are IBM’s five guiding principles:

  • Your reputation is your brand. Treat your online reputation as a highly valued asset in your professional portfolio. Be strategic and careful of the content you allow yourself to be linked to; everything you post should be in support of building your digital reputation.
  • Think before you post. If you have doubts about the appropriateness of content, don’t post it or let it be posted. Information can spread quickly and widely and can stay online for a very long time; consider the implications of material to your digital reputation and whether or not you would want that material to still be visible in ten years.
  • Remain positive and constructive. Contribute content that is helpful and thoughtful; don’t make derogatory or inflammatory comments about other individuals or organizations. These statements can come back to tarnish your reputation. Negativity doesn’t build credibility.
  • Strive for professionalism. Anything that would be inappropriate to say or do in public settings, such as the office, is inappropriate behavior on social networks.
  • Consider the long-term. Reputation takes time to build, and a digital reputation is no exception. Content posted online can and will remain there for a long time – make sure the content posted about you builds a history of professionalism and insightful content.

Paint the picture you want the world to see!
The digital world gives you the opportunity to elevate yourself both personally and professionally though crafting, protecting and maintaining an online image that positively showcases your strengths.  That doesn’t mean you need to toot your own horn, but if there are causes, or events that are meaningful to you, share your thoughts regarding them.  People will see your sincerity, your passion and make connections with you that may not be obvious at first glance.  Who knows, the mention of a common cause could bring the connection you are seeking to your fingertips!

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