PUT YOUR BEST DIGITAL FOOTPRINT FORWARD - Career Expert Offers Seven Tips for Managing Online Reputation in the Job Hunt

    TORONTO, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - In a competitive job market, a polished
professional reputation can make or break someone's chances of landing a
coveted position. And since the word google became a verb, that reputation
includes information that can be found online. This is particularly true for
IT professionals who are evaluated on their technical savvy, noted Dave
Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology.
    "As a growing number of employers search the Internet for information
about job seekers, it's become more important for applicants to actively
monitor and maintain their professional reputations online," said Willmer.
"The current economic environment has made hiring managers increasingly
cautious, and any information that raises a red flag can quickly take
candidates out of consideration for a job."

    Willmer offers the following seven tips for managing your digital

    1.  Take stock. Discover what information about you -- if any -- already
        is online by performing a search using popular search engines. If you
        discover an item that you wouldn't want hiring managers to see, ask
        the person who posted the information or website administrator to
        remove it. Similarly, untag any inappropriate photos of yourself.

    2.  Activate privacy settings. If you belong to social networking sites
        or have a personal blog, adjust your privacy settings so you control
        who has access.

    3.  Exercise discretion. When interacting online, be selective about
        which venues you participate in and who you allow into your personal
        and professional networks. If you regularly contribute to blogs or
        forums, give thought as to how your statements may be interpreted by
        those outside your community. Consider using a pseudonym if you
        wouldn't want a potential employer to see your posts. You can use
        BlogPulse or Technorati to track online conversations about you or
        your sites.

    4.  Network wisely. When using professional networking sites such as
        LinkedIn to look for job opportunities, behave graciously with
        everyone you encounter and follow posted protocols. Thank anyone who
        assists you, and be sure to return the favor when possible.

    5.  Stack the deck. Business information websites such as ZoomInfo allow
        users to post information about themselves, so consider including
        details about your professional involvement and qualifications on
        these types of forums.

    6.  Share your insights. Posting useful advice and commentary on industry
        forums and authoring online articles in your area of expertise can
        add to your credibility.

    7.  Monitor the conversation. Set alerts using Google or other tracking
        services under your name so you receive an e-mail notification every
        time something new is said about you online.

    "Professionals should always post prudently -- not just when they're
looking for work," said Willmer. "The business world is more transparent than
ever, which means people need to be aware that what they say and do online can
have both positive and negative consequences."

    About Robert Half Technology
    With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a
leading provider of information technology professionals for initiatives
ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network
security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job
search services at www.rht.com. For additional tips on conducting an online
job search, download a free copy of Search Smarts: Best Practices for
Conducting an Online Job Search at http://www.rhi.com/onlinejobsearch.

For further information:

For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330,

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