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Creating a Professional Online Presence

Up until this point in your life, your online communication has probably been uninhibited and informal in nature and the purpose of your online activity has likely been to socialize with friends. Now, as a person who is making the transition from youth to adulthood, your online identity should demonstrate your growing maturity and professionalism. You probably grew up using social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube, and may have an extensive, well-documented history on these sites. If you have not already realized this, it is important to understand now that everything you post on the Internet, whether in writing, photos, or videos, is out there for the whole world to see, and it is out there for all eternity. You should only post comments, words, writing, photos, images, videos, and activities that you are comfortable sharing with everyone and for all time. These days, is it very common for people, and even potential employers, to research you online before meeting you in person. So be very thoughtful and prudent about what you post online. A good question to keep in mind when you post anything online is, “What would my grandmother or future employer think of this?” And if the answer is that your grandmother or future employer would be dismayed by your posting, then do not post it. It will reflect negatively on you, and may not only cause you embarrassment, but could also cost you a job or professional opportunity. Use common sense when you’re online and always present yourself in a positive, professional manner. And if you haven’t already done so, create privacy settings online and take the time to ‘clean up’ any past online indiscretions (past mistakes will never completely disappear, but they may recede into the hard-to-find archives of the Internet).

Please visit the CU Career Services website to learn about how you can develop a professional presence on the Internet.

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