by Lauren Brousell

3 Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation (and Your Career)

Nov 14, 20122 mins

A career coach provides tips on making the best impression in online settings, such as an 80-20 rule for mixing professional and personal tweets

If you are hoping to advance in your IT career, learning how to manage your online reputation is almost as important as your skills and experience. Here are three tips to help keep you on track.

Always maintain a branded online presence–it’s essential in today’s world of work. Your online identity could support or torpedo your candidacy for the position you may want next.

According to multiple studies noted by Harvard Business Review, more than 75 percent of companies and recruiters review candidate profiles online and 70 percent have decided not to hire a candidate based on what they’ve found. And some won’t hire you if they find little online information about you, so don’t try to be invisible either.

Sometimes mix a little personality into your professional image. But be careful and use common sense on exactly what you share. There are some things we just don’t need to know. Use the 80-20 rule: 80 percent professional image in public, 20 percent of your personal side.

For example, if you are on Twitter, 80 percent of your tweets can be about technology, industry and business topics, while 20 percent are about your thoughts on travel, sports, current events, your city, family, friends and your personal technology.

Never ruin your reputation by using bad language or being disrespectful (online or in any public setting). If you want to disagree in an online post, make your point in a polite manner and move on. With 85 percent of American adults using the Internet, according to a recent Pew study, there is a lot of noise out there.

Distinguish yourself as an intelligent thinker, but not at the expense of someone else. Think before you press the enter key. If you’re not sure how your message will be perceived, now or later, decide against sending it and simply walk away.

Kim Batson, a CIO career coach, can be contacted at

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