Your online presence is your website. This is the first glimpse people get into you from the internet. So, when people look at your website – they are not just judging your work, they are forming an opinion of you. Do you want to give people a good impression or a mediocre one? Avoid the former by making sure that only your best work is showcased on your website! Remember, the world is shrinking, and your website has become an extension of your resume. Only publish what you really want people to see, and make sure that is the absolute best of any material. Whether it’s a personal website, a professional website, or even a photo blog *(ahem*), you want to ensure that the content you present is only the best. Otherwise, your online presence can suffer.
When evaluating what to include in your online presence, consider the difference between the target audience and your actual audience. Sometimes people not in your target audience (who you write, publish, advertise, and market to) will view your website. I’ve had potential employers in the past ask for samples of my work with photography, web design, and other material. This, in spite of the fact that I mentioned my photography, web design and other content as a hobby or avocation.
Nevertheless, some of my best examples of this work are on this blog. Does that mean that this website a part of my resume? Perhaps not directly, but employers have seen it! To that end, you want to make sure that anything you do online is something you would be okay with your employer (or even a potential employer) seeing. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites are being monitored more than ever by corporate entities. What you say and do there can also have an impact on your employability. Keep that in mind regarding your online presence.
Take pride in your work and yourself, and most importantly, make sure you are only publishing work that showcases the best of what you can do! Your online presence and the perception others have of you is all that’s at stake here.