Ever heard of a DISASTROUS INTERNET IDENTITY, or DII?
It’s what you get after a lifetime of tweeting and blogging and posting anything that popped into your little head. Oh, sure it’s a lot of fun when you’re doing it. But one day your parents are gonna want you to get a job and move out of their basement.
You might have a problem when potential employers start to read all your pithy posts. Come on, admit it. There are a few choice comments floating around cyberspace with your name on them.
Remember when you were bragging about being a level 70 warrior elf in World of Warcraft?
Or that time you lit up the boards over at TeamEdward.com?
Wish you’d never pledged your undying loyalty to that college buddy who’s now under indictment for fraud?
Sure, it’s how you really felt at the time, but what will someone think who’s reading it in hopes of hiring you?
At best, they’ll see you tweet before you think. Never a good quality in an employee.
At the worst, you’ll be convicted of guilt by association. Since your friend is a fraud, they’ll think you’re one, too.
Either way, you probably won’t get the job. So what can you do right now to clean up your online presence?
Start with your Twitter page. Take down anything you wouldn’t want your mom to read. Next, Facebook. If you wouldn’t say it to your mom, take it down.
While on Facebook, take down all pictures of you doing dumb stuff. I know that won’t leave many shots of you online, but you can always take new ones of you doing good deeds. Have a friend take a picture of you helping a little old lady across the street. Post a video of you serving soup at a homeless shelter. Rescue a puppy from a well.
Okay, those might be extreme examples, but you get the idea. Play up the good you. Pictures of evil you should be relegated to dusty shoe boxes in the hall closet.
So now, all your Twitter and Facebook pages are nice and clean. What about the stuff you posted on sites where you don’t have editorial control? Bad news time: Most of that stuff will be online forever unless you can petition the webmaster and get it removed (fat chance).
Anyone with a grudge to bear or an axe to grind will be able to look this stuff up and rub it in your face as long as there are people who know your name.
Scared? Got some issues you’d rather no one knew about, don’t ‘cha? How will you ever get your own place with that frat-boy image you’ve so carefully cultivated?
The good news is it’s entirely possible to sweep most of your sordid past under the carpet. With a few well-placed articles and some thoughtful blog posts, anyone can slap a fresh coat of lacquer on their tarnished reputation and relegate the unflattering pictures and posts to the netherweb.
You, too can learn how to present a squeaky-clean image to the world so you can land that job and move out of mom and dad’s basement. It’s a win-win scenario!