Cross Contamination

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Don’t lie, you have done it. We have all done it.  Googled our names.  Is it egocentricism, curiosity, or as it is for me, the sheer shock factor associated with seeing your name in the annals of the Internet? 

Much to my dismay, my admittedly under-utilized LinkedIn profile is the first result, while my overly trafficked Facebook page comes in at a close second.  Crap. At this point, neither of these tools is being used to its ‘full potential’.  This isn’t to say that I am not an avid Facebook fan, but that for professional reasons I wish work from previous and current internship positions that is lost in the inner-workings of the web would climb its way to the top and squash Facebook entirely.

Unfortunately for myself, and many other Gen Y-ers, the world of social media began as a right of passage to college – a venue where my worst, most embarrassing moments can be memorialized in the humiliating, yet hilarious, albums of my friends.  While the tributes to ‘last night’ are good for kicks, they do little to bolster your resume.

My social media has been cross-contaminated.  My friends, colleagues and the people I desperately wish would hire me are all looking at the same picture of me sun burnt, staring awkwardly into a camera and slurping a margarita on some beach, somewhere.  I realize my less than ideal digital footprint is irremovable, so I decided to tackle this little problem with some content creation of my own.  

Upon the instruction of my professor, along with other mentors, I put myself on the map with Twitter, Linkedin and PRopenmic.  These networks have provided me with an outlet to express my more ‘professional’ side, while fostering great relationship with industry gurus I would only have dreamt of meeting before.

So, how do you make the keg stands, mini skirts and Natty Light cans that are synonymous with undergrad years disappear?  Well, according to Wall Street Journal staff writer Julia Angwin, you don’t – you just work around it.  

By creating your own web-based content through social media you can completely transform your search results.  Granted,  Facebook may still top the charts, but consistent activity on Twitter and PRopenMic has the opportunity to trump the others. Make a blog! Link to other bloggers and get the ‘real’ you out there with intentional content.  The key message for today: be the change you want to see.  If you want to optimize your Google search, then change your online activity.

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~ by kristaberlincourt on February 10, 2009.

One Response to “Cross Contamination”

  1. This is a fun post. Nice job, Krista. I would suggest that “googling yourself” is not vanity, though… it’s just smart. I would also set up a google alert with your name to make you know what’s being said.

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