Living in the modern world, one’s online presence is a key part of their identity – especially in the entertainment business. When someone’s name is mentioned in conversation, people turn to the Internet to find out more about that person. Who are they? What have they done? They are looking for answers and usually those answers are attainable by making a few clicks on the keyboard.
So, what’s your online identity? Are you having any of these problems with your online presence? You can implement these solutions TODAY!
1. No Online Presence
I type in your name, hit the search button and… Nothin’! Nada! Zilch! Congratulations, you don’t exist. Rarer and rarer, I’ll admit. Even your privacy settings won’t allow that kind of anonymity. But a locked Facebook profile and a couple of random mentions are as good as nothing.
Quick-Step Action Plan:Start with creating a LinkedIn profile for yourself and then start linking in with your friends, co-workers, former fellow interns, etc. This is a professional networking site so make sure your profile contains all of your relevant professional experience and a compelling summary at the top.
Extra Credit Assignment: Join groups on LinkedIn related to your profession or otherwise appropriate (most likely, there’s an alumni group for your college, maybe even one specific to your major) and start commenting on discussions to which you have something to offer. Also, visit blogs relevant to your profession and start commenting on the posts. If you are a good writer and have a good idea for an article, offer to guest blog.
2. Incomplete Or Incorrect Online Presence
Your IMDB page says you guest starred on “Castle” last season, but you are a composer. Your LinkedIn profile is missing the job you currently have, your most impressive job to date, by far.
Quick-Step Action Plan: Time for a little housecleaning. Check your LinkedIn profile, your IMDB page. Ditto MySpace, for those in the music biz. (Yes, MySpace is still a relevant professional social networking tool for musicians, music managers and producers, etc.) Anywhere you maintain a presence. Make an effort to clean up your act. An incomplete or incorrect online identity can be more damaging than having no online identity at all.
Extra Credit Assignment: Google yourself and see what comes up. Was a blog post written about you that describes you using an outdated title? It’s probably no big deal. Most people know though the internet is forever, people change jobs and even professions.
But if it is misleading, or you can easily get the blogger to install the word “former” before your job title, then go for it. Especially if you are still getting a pesky number of inquiries from strangers thinking you still have that job.
3. Inappropriate Online Presence
This can apply to your career in two ways. The first: Oh, college… oh, your early 20s… Oh, dear. Potential employers (and internship supervisors and clients) Google you, sometimes before they even interview you. That picture of your with a beer in your hand holding up your shirt to display your new bellybutton piercing is going to cost you that opportunity.
Yes, we’re in entertainment but we want employees/interns/service providers who have good judgment. Having that picture online says you don’t.
The second way an online presence can be inappropriate is if you are shifting gears in your career. If every mention of you online depicts you as a camera assistant and you have just gotten your second cinematographer job and want to continue on that path, it’s time for a little online image makeover.
Quick-Step Action Plan: In the case of the bellybutton photo or any other image or comment that makes you look like a less-than-stellar job candidate, take it down or get yourself untagged if the photo belongs to a friend. In the case of a job transition, rewrite your online profiles to describe yourself in the way you currently want to be seen. You are a cinematographer with a background in camera assisting.
Extra Credit Assignment: Start commenting in relevant LinkedIn groups and on blogs which allow you to establish yourself as a professional in the way you want to be seen. Especially if you can’t get the offending (or outdated) content removed from the web. You are not an exhibitionist drunkard. You are not a camera assistant. Now go tell someone on the web. Eventually the outdated content will get pushed so far down your Google search, the potential employer will never see it.
Congratulations, you now have the right online presence to help you get where you want to go. Now make a note to check it every few months in case it needs updating or in case your college days somehow end up making an appearance.
This post was originally published on an earlier date.
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