Opinions

Students should be aware of the way they represent themselves online

by BENJAMIN GEE

Students should be more aware of their online reputations, as online profiles can lead to both opportunities and difficulties in the future.

Everything that is posted online and shared can be copied and redistributed, making digital posts virtually immortal. Therefore students must be careful about what personal information they share now, as it may never disappear.

Many companies have turned to the web for hiring through online presence searches and solely digital job postings.  Rather than sifting through piles of similar resumes, companies have gone to the internet to learn more about the personal lives of considered employees. Often times, employers choose those who will fit best in the work environment; having a social media account with sincere interests and a lot of personality will help these employers get a better idea of who is behind the screen according to forbes.com.

This concept also applies in the negative sense. Employers that see a lack of enthusiasm, or even offensive postings, may be deterred from hiring these individuals. There have also been many accounts of employees getting fired for posting spiteful quips about their jobs or pictures of inappropriate actions at work.

This importance of public relations has been the focus of many large companies as well. New jobs and businesses have been created solely for the purpose of managing an individual’s or group’s online image. The accessibility of the internet has allowed for reputations to be easily tarnished by bad reviews or negative posts from anonymous and untargetable sources. Users could effortlessly write bad words about an ex-boyfriend or former employer to spite them. Online reputation management companies, such as reputation.com, could handle these issues for a fee, ensuring that these negative posts would be hidden and do less damage to the image of the group or individual.

Students should start addressing and redefining their online presence, making sure they do not harm themselves once they start networking. A great online profile, filled with sincere interests and achievements, will open doors. A poor profile, with a lack of direction and unacceptable ideas and images, will burn bridges before they are even built.

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