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By David Machowski ’94 MEd, Owner of Campus to Corporate, LLC

The New Year is fast approaching and it’s a great time to think about cleaning up your online persona. Whatever your career goals in 2016, you should be sure that your digital footprint is working in your favor. Here are some steps and ideas to make sure your online presence is making a favorable impression.

1.  Search yourself
Google your name and see what everyone else would see if they did the same. This is a good opportunity to review what information and images are out there with your name attached. If you see something unfavorable, be proactive and get it eliminated.

2.  Start managing your reputation
LinkedIn is a great place to start. The best thing about LinkedIn is that you can control what’s said and how it’s presented. You can use your privacy settings to your advantage to decide who sees certain sections of your profile. LinkedIn gives you a chance to make a favorable presence in terms of content, and it also allows you to get involved with others who share your interests. You can engage on LinkedIn through individual messages, group discussions or posts in your news feed.

3.  Review your Facebook privacy settings
If you think your current or future employer won’t check you out online, think again. They do and they make judgements about you based on what they find. Take this time to clean up comments, photos, videos, events and other content that may compromise the professional impression you want to make.

4.  Think before you post
Take the necessary precautions to ensure that you present a favorable impression. Your social media presence is like a mosaic of who you are and in many cases it’s available to anyone who wants to look. Imagine a compromising tweet that is re-tweeted, or a suspect photo you’re tagged in that is shared. Once you’ve hit send, it’s out there forever, so always think before you post.

David Machowski ’94 MEd is a participant in the UMass Amherst Alumni Association Career Counselors program. Contact David to learn more about his services, including targeted support for college students and recent grads. For additional career resources, including online tools and free webinars, visit UMassAlumni.com.