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Ways to clean up your online reputation

Ways to clean up your online reputation

What can you do if you need to clean up your internet presence for a job search? Plenty. We’ve outlined each important step that every job seeker should take. You’ll learn how to uncover search results, remove negative content and develop a positive online presence.

But make no mistake: It’s not easy to manage your online reputation. In the next sections we’ll break down several strategies to give you a clean slate and a great reputation.

Start Early

If you’ve just entered the employment market, you may be eager to rush out and apply for jobs right away.Slow down. Consider your online reputation first.

Recruiters and hiring managers will consider your online presence. So if your reputation isn’t up to snuff, employers will take one look at your online reputation and run.

Before you pound the pavement, improve your online presence. But remember this: it takes time and effort to clean up a messy reputation. However, you’ll always see a return on your investment.

Potential employers may not initially check applicants’ online reputations, but they may eventually do so before making an offer.

Google Yourself

Employers will turn to Google to assess your online reputation. That’s why it’s so important to know what they’re likely to find. Here are some quick takeaways from our article about how to Google yourself:

Is it attractive to employers, or could it cause a problem?

Take note of any results that match you, both positive and negative.

Be sure to check out the first few pages (30-40 results) in Google.

List your active profiles as well as any dead ones where you haven’t posted in years. It could be embarrassing if a potential employer finds an old gaming profile you started in high school. If you find things that you don’t like, log in and update or delete old accounts.

You should also examine social media profiles to see how they can be viewed publicly. Most have the option to view a public timeline or offer a “view as” option so you can see how others view your profile.

It’s critical to make note of other people who share your name. They can seriously influence your search results and may confuse potential employers. If you share a name with a criminal, porn star, or other unsavory character, you may have trouble landing a job. Make sure you use an up-to-date photo in all of your professional profiles to help employers suss out which ones belong to you. You can also attempt to drown out the imposters with positive results that are relevant to you (more on that later).

Look for Red Flags

First and foremost, you’ll want to put out the fires. While it’s important to develop a positive online reputation, the first thing you need to do is clean up the bad stuff. Employers are on the hunt for reasons to dismiss your application, so don’t give them any.

Red flags can include:

Embarrassing or inappropriate photos

Negative or inappropriate language or strong opinions

Complaints about current or former employers

Poor grammar or spelling

Association with negative characters

References to illegal activity, drinking, or drug use

Legal challenges

Inconsistencies between your resume and online presence

Any indication that a candidate lacks maturity or good judgement

You must take action if your search results have any of those red flags. Do your best to delete what you control, remove things if you can or bury what you can’t clean up.

Don’t Go Nuclear

Some job seekers decide that their online presence will be too difficult to clean up so they take the nuclear option. They delete their social media accounts, change their last names and obliterate their online identity.

While that approach can disassociate your name from negative content, it’s far more likely to make employers suspicious. Most will wonder why you have no presence online – and they may even question if you have something to hide.

But more importantly, it leaves you with a blank slate. That might sound appealing, but it’s actually dangerous. It means there’s nothing to hold back damaging content should something surface. It’s far better to develop a mostly positive reputation with a few blemishes than to have nothing at all.

Further, a good online reputation isn’t just about cleansing the negative. It’s also important to accentuate the positive. If you delete your entire internet presence, you will give up control of your online reputation as well as your ability to connect. Remember that you can positively interact with recruiters, hiring managers, companies, and others in your network.

Remove Negative Results

Once you know what you’re up against, you’ll need to remove search results from Google if you can. That’s a piece of cake to do on websites, blogs or profiles that you control. However, you may meet resistance if you need to remove content from third party websites.

Take charge of your content

If you’re dealing with comments, posts, or photos that you’ve put up yourself, just log in and delete them. It’s best to completely remove content rather than hide it behind privacy settings. You should also clean up your friends and connections, and review your likes, comments, shares and follows.

Lock down your privacy

Review your privacy settings, and make posts and photos available to friends only. You may even consider filtering your friends into different audiences for different posts. But remember that everything can potentially become public.

Ask friends for help

It’s trickier to remove negative results that other people have shared. Ask friends to take down content that looks unprofessional. Mention that you’re applying for jobs so they’ll be more likely to act quickly for you. If they can’t or won’t, remove the tags and delete the content from your wall.

Politely request removal

Blogs or websites may rank higher on search engines and cause more damage to your reputation. Negative articles and bad reviews can really come back to haunt you and can have potential employers running for the hills. To make matters worse, some website owners will not change or take down content willingly. Tread lightly, be polite, and explain how the content is could hurt your employability. Do not get caught up in demands, and definitely don’t threaten to sue.

Get legal help if necessary

If a gentle approach doesn’t work, you may need to call in some help. Some content is illegal by law. For example, Google may remove sensitive personal information or copyrighted content. Online defamation may be worth pursuing legally, but be careful. You may in fact call attention to the content that you want to clean up.

If you can’t delete embarrassing content completely, don’t worry. You still have options. Even if negative search results persist, it’s entirely possible to bury them with positive content. In most cases, the best course of action is to push down negative search results where nobody will find them.

Push down results with positive content

Let’s face it: it’s usually not possible to delete negative results. However, you can still clean up your online reputation. How? Build a positive brand to push down negative search results on Google. You’ll not only develop a great first impression for recruiters, but you’ll also hold back future negative press. Here are some techniques you can use to do just that.

Be a real person online

It sounds silly, but the best way to establish a positive online reputation is to be active, and be yourself. Use your real name, fill out your social profiles with legitimate information, and use a professional head shot that shows your face.

Get your own domain name

A personal website domain usually costs about $15 per year or less to register. You’ll show that you’re serious about developing a professional brand, and you’ll improve your internet presence.

Link to your positive results

If you found positive results on Google, make sure you link to them. Targets to consider include your portfolio, positive news stories, videos, and more. Link to them on your website, blog, LinkedIn, and anywhere else you find relevant. You’ll show employers (and Google) that these results are important to you.

Create a well informed blog

You don’t have to write weekly essays, but you should develop a blog that shows off your expertise. A blog is an excellent platform to offer commentary on topics that you care about. You’ll show employers that you’re informed, vocal and that you care about what’s happening within your industry.

Establish a social media presence

\If you’re not already on professional and social networks online, now is the time to start. Sign up for LinkedIn, Facebook, Cameron Clokie Twitter, and other social media sites where you can build your personal brand, connect with others, and share links that reflect positively on you.

Be professional online

Show employers that you’re a mature, intelligent candidate. Use proper grammar, be respectful of others, and avoid getting into arguments.

Become active in your community

Volunteer and reach out in your local community, connect with industry influencers, and be publicly active online. Just be sure that your activity is positive and doesn’t throw up any red flags. Back up your activities with photos, posts and other online evidence of your involvement. Connect with influential organizations and associations as well as influencers in your community, and participate in industry conversations on social media and in active networks.

Showcase your skills and interests

Make videos on YouTube, post photos on Flickr, link to accomplishments and interests on Pinterest. Use social accounts to point to what you do best and make sure that employers can find them.

Use LinkedIn effectively

Don’t just sign up and connect with a few people, really use LinkedIn. Share links to your work, join communities, reach out to new contacts. Don’t forget to ask for recommendations as well: these act as virtual references that hiring managers and recruiters love to check out.

Support your resume

Employers are often looking to make sure that what you’ve shared on your resume lines up with your online life, so it helps to leave evidence that you are really doing what you say you’re doing. Add jobs to LinkedIn and Facebook, post photos, links to events, recommendations, and any other indications that your life on your resume accurately reflects your life online.

It may seem like a lot of work to build a great online reputation, and it is. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start small, and take one step at a time to clean up negative or neutral results and replace them with a positive results.

Build a Strong Online Presence

So you’ve filtered out negative results and promoted positive content. But keep in mind that you’re still not done. You’ll need to continue to invest time and effort to keep your internet presence clean. That’s why so many people hire online reputation management services to do the work for them. Don’t throw away your hard work by neglecting your online reputation once you’re happy with it.

How to Choose an ORM CompanyRead the Article

Here are a few more tips to maintain a squeaky clean online reputation.

Watch what you share on social media You should only need to clean up your reputation once. After that, put a filter on your posts to prevent future issues. Think about how your boss, grandmother, or children would feel about what you plan to share.

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What is CrunchBase, and How Can It Help Your Business?

When it comes to innovation and technology, one of the best online databases for learning about companies is CrunchBase.

CrunchBase is owned and operated by TechCrunch, an online publisher of news covering the wold of technology industry. TechCrunch highlights tech startups and funding campaigns, but it also analyzes established organizations.

Like Wikipedia and other online databases, CrunchBase allows members of the public to make submissions to the site. All you have to do is register and agree to the terms. Profiles on the site consist of companies, individuals, funds, funding campaigns, and events.

One of the benefits of having a CrunchBase profile is it gives your shareholders (investors, partners, customers, potential buyers, etc.) an extra data point on your products and services. While it is a resource that definitely targets venture capitalism, their are several private companies and firms that have CrunchBase profiles.

For example, Melaleuca.com has a profile that highlights the company’s innovation in manufacturing technology, information technology, and more. A consumer interested in the wellness company has easy access to Melaleuca’s track record, patents, product philosophy, and more.

Another benefit of CrunchBase is that users can link to other important resources, such as news stories, that profile the company, organization, or individuals. It allows online users to gain helpful insight into who you are. They can also receive alerts about companies and people they are following.

But you don’t have to be a third party to create a profile. If you are a smart and proactive professional or group of professionals, you should already have a CrunchBase profile set up for people interested in your business. Profiles are easily customizable, and can feature the level of detail and information you want.

If you are someone looking to invest in a company, or you are just interested in the tech industry as whole, one of the coolest CrunchBase features is a list of trending profiles, based on page views. If a lot of people are looking at a certain CrunchBase profile, there’s a very good chance that company is going places—and fast.

Basically, CrunchBase is an online, real-time barometer of the tech industry and its major players, as well as up-and-coming players. With helpful news articles from Bloomberg, Wired news, and more, you can keep abreast of what is happening on a global scale in the tech world. And with an up-to-date calendar of important events, you can know when and where to connect with the world’s leading tech experts and enthusiasts.

 

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Britain votes to leave the EU, Cameron quits – here’s what happens next

Gavin Barrett, University College Dublin

Britain has voted to leave the European Union. This is having an immediate effect on markets. It is also having immediate political ramifications. David Cameron has announced he will not continue in his role as British prime minister.

Legally speaking, though, the process of actually leaving will take some time. Britain will now enter a kind of phoney Brexit period. It is still a member of the EU. The referendum vote is not as such legally binding. It is advisory only – but if it is out it creates a political imperative for the UK government to arrange its exit of the EU.

The law governing Brexit is found in Article 50 of the EU Treaty. This is a provision adopted by EU member states in 2009 to govern Brexit-like scenarios. It puts a two-year time limit on withdrawal negotiations. When the two years is up (or on the date any agreement reached before this enters into force) the UK is officially out of the EU.

Article 50 requires the UK to trigger the exit process by notifying its intention to withdraw. Not one, but rather a cascade of agreements, will follow this Brexit notification:

  1. The Article 50 exit agreement
  2. A separate treaty governing the UK’s future relationship with the EU – which could take many years to negotiate (and which, if it goes beyond trade, will require ratification by every single EU member state)
  3. Trade agreements between the UK and up to 134 other WTO members
  4. A tidying-up treaty between all the remaining EU states that removes all references to the UK from the EU treaties.

The initial main focus, however, will clearly be the Article 50 Brexit agreement.

How will it work?

The UK would be the first state to leave the EU but it is most likely that the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, will do the negotiating on behalf of the remaining 27 member states. They will no doubt cast a watchful eye on proceedings, before voting on the deal.

That vote will be by a weighted majority, with bigger states like Germany, France and Italy having a more powerful voice than smaller members (although in practice, strong efforts are made to ensure every member state can live with a deal before a matter is approved). Above and beyond this, should the Article 50 Brexit agreement venture beyond trade matters, it will then need to be ratified by every EU member state.

The European Parliament has a veto option, making it an important player too. Article 50 negotiations will thus have a lot of players with powerful voices – and many not necessarily be inclined to give the UK a very favourable deal lest “exiters” in their own countries get any ideas.



Powerful voices at play.
EPA/Patrick Seeger

Could the UK delay giving Article 50 notification?

Legally, yes, the UK could delay giving Article 50 notification or avoid it altogether. But other EU states will probably refuse to negotiate until they get the notification.

Brexit campaigners have suggested adopting a swath of domestic laws so that the UK can short-circuit Article 50. But such measures would violate EU law and probably won’t see the light of day. Enacting them would pointlessly violate EU and international law, alienate the UK’s future negotiating partners and jeopardise the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Can the UK withdraw notification?

This might be attempted if, for instance, the UK doesn’t like the way negotiations are going. It is unclear if it is legally permissible. The EU Treaty certainly doesn’t prohibit it in so many words. Political misgivings would abound – but might possibly be met by having a second referendum to reject any Article 50 deal ultimately reached.

Ireland, after all, had referendum second thoughts on the Lisbon and Nice Treaties, Denmark had them on the Maastricht Treaty and France and Holland agreed to a Lisbon Treaty deal very similar to the 1994 Constitutional Treaty earlier rejected by both states in referendum.

What will the UK get from negotiations?

That depends on how (and who) conducts the negotiations for the UK, and what the other states are prepared to offer it. Even assuming they prove pleasantly amenable, the UK will be left with awkward choices.



On the outside.
EPA/Laurent Dubrule

Does it want continued access to the single market with its 500m consumers? If so, it is may have to make Norway-like concessions – including continued EU migration and cash payments for the privilege. Does it want to block out EU migrants? Then it may well have to say goodbye to single European market access.

No matter what the UK chooses, it will unavoidably find itself outside the corridors of power in the EU for the first time in over forty years.

Is there any way back in?

Article 50 does envisage the possibility of UK re-entry to the EU one day – but subject to a unanimous vote of member states. This pretty much guarantees it will only ever happen by the UK accepting the euro currency, participation in the Schengen area of free movement and no rebate.

Welcome to the brave new world of Brexitland.

The Conversation

Gavin Barrett, Associate Professor, Jean Monnet Professor of European Constitutional and Economic Law, University College Dublin

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Young man with smartphone

Paying for YouTube Red: Are Ads Really That Bad?

One of the reasons YouTube has become one of the most popular social media platforms is because you can watch whatever you want to for free. There is so much content on YouTube that it’s no surprise that much of it is really, really stupid. But we still click and watch the stupid stuff because, hey, it doesn’t cost anything.

But now, if you really want to, you can pay Google—which owns YouTube—to keep watching all of that garbage.

So why would anyone want to pay for something they can have for free? In the case of YouTube Red, why would someone pay $9.99 a month to watch their favorite videos when, up until now, there was no charge for doing so? The answer: those annoying, ever-present ads.

Yes, it seems that there is a big enough market of people who are willing to fork over a Hamilton every month so they don’t have to wait 30, 15, or even 5 seconds while an advertisement runs. There are other benefits to YouTube Red, the monthly subscription that starts tomorrow. Among them are the ability to save a video so you can play it back later offline; enhancements for gamers; and exclusive, original content for paid subscribers only.

But really, it’s all about being able to jump to and watch your favorite music video, fail compilation, or cat video without having to sit through an ad. That brings up the question: Is it really worth $120 a year to get rid of ads?

Everyone up until now has enjoyed YouTube for free. So why would you pay for it just to save a few seconds of watching a Geico commercial? Are we as a society really that impatient now? We already pay for ad-free services like Netflix. If YouTube Red takes off, does his mark the end of Internet advertisements as we know it?

Ever since the invention of the DVR, we have rejoiced at being able to skip over TV commercial breaks. But those ad blocks lasted several minutes. YouTube ads are relatively short and painless in comparison. But the fact that YouTube Red rolls out tomorrow is proof that we still hate commercials enough as an entertainment-viewing society to be willing to fork over our hard-earned money to rid ourselves of the burden of ads.

Source: Time.com