How to Maintain Your Online Reputation

July 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

Though it’s never good to start off with an apology, am doing so today: This post will be a bit briefer than usual as  we lost electricity at home (gotta love Washington-area summer storms and our power company’s response! ugh!), so am posting from work (where there is power) Monday morning.

Yet I wanted to respond to an email correspondent who recently asked about how to maintain a good, smart  image online — mainly on social networks — and stay on top of what is being said about you without spending all day checking on that. Good question and good concern.

Consumer-oriented businesses are increasingly worried about their online reputation — a spate of bad reviews, or has recently happened with BP, an online campaign against their products or services can turn into a marketing disaster. Yet individuals have reason to be concerned as well. Hiring experts preach the importance of marketing yourself online — developing “you as a brand” — but part of that requires keeping that brand or image focused and clean of detrimental messages. Hiring managers routinely “check you out” online, so you need to maintain your online image.

Here are some tips for doing that:

*Arm yourself with knowledge about yourself. Obviously, you know where you’re posting online — but you may not remember comments you made on a site a year ago that could come back to haunt you. Keep a record and copies of your postings and if you have a blog or a Web site, maintain and adjust your archives as necessary. Google yourself regularly (though try not to become obsessive about this as it can turn into a big time-waster) and check other databases where your name comes up. Don’t wait until you have a big problem with your reputation to react!

*If a search of Google and other online databases turns up little about you, that’s also a problem. Determine why. Perhaps your postings and writings are being attributed to someone else with the same or similar name. It can be complicated to fix that, but it’s possible. Perhaps you haven’t written enough to be captured online — and you need to remedy that.

*Ask around after you don’t get a job about whether online postings hurt you. Hiring managers often will nix a candidacy if they see “improper” photos on social-networking sites or political statements on sites that concern them. You may have thought these were tame but the manager thought differently. It’s important to know if you are hurting your chances for getting a job because of your online reputation.

*Consider employing a reputation-management service. Usually these services — which can be expensive — are used by businesses that want to minimize online reputational problems through search-engine optimization (SEO) tricks. Reputable services include ReputationDefender in California. Individuals who believe that there is damaging material about them online — perhaps through a review site — might consider using such a service if the damage is massive. But employ other steps first, experts advise.

*Here’s a link to a piece over the weekend that underscores some important advice — in making your case for a job don’t forget about skills and talents in other areas of your life like music and athletics. Sometimes, those attributes can capture a hiring manager’s attention and move  your resume to the top of their pile. Here’s one good example:

Hearing the Right Notes From a Job Candidate


*Check out these job and internship leads to start off your work week:

*This could be a good university-based position for the right person; Georgetown University in D.C. is looking for a director of regional advancement, focused on New England:

Director of Regional Advancement, New England
Georgetown University – Washington, DC
education setting); personal solicitation experience, excellent written/oral communication skills, organization, the ability/willingness to work as an integral…

*Here are a few fall internship opportunities — please pass them along to D.C.-area students who are looking! The first is an opening for a graduate student to do grant writing in D.C. for Coprodeli USA:

Grant Writing – Graduate Internship Fall 2010
Coprodeli USA – Arlington, VA
to join their grant writing team! Direct experience… MSWord and MSExcel Excellent communication (particularly writing), organizational and interpersonal…


*The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty in D.C. is looking for an undergraduate to fill its opening for a fall-semester development and communications intern:

Fall Semester Development & Communications In
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty – Washington, DC
to the Development and Communications staff – Research innovative development strategies & analyze the efficacy of NLCHP communication tools Qualifications…

*The Peace Corps in D.C. is looking for a chief of programming and training:

Chief of Programming and Training
Peace Corps – Washington, DC
and training needs at overseas posts. The position supervises a team of 2-3 Program and Training Specialists or Sub-Regional Program and Training Officers… $100,280 – $147,265 a year

*Verisign in Dulles, Va., has an opening for a director of global brand strategy and marketing communications:

Verisign, Inc. – Dulles, VA
of all marketing communications programs to promote… success Excellent verbal, written, visual communication skills. Good organizational skills and ability…
From Monster

*Here’s a good Hill opening — Rep. Ed Markey’s D.C. office has an opening for a communications director:

Rep. Markey: Communications Director

Senior Progressive New England Democrat seeks experienced, creative, and politically savvy Communications Director for busy press operation. Candidates for this position must have outstanding writing abilities in a variety of formats, including speechwriting, press releases, talking points, statements and other written materials drafted for the Member. They also must demonstrate extensive experience pitching stories to national media. Candidates for the position must be able to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, under short deadlines, and to be able to work effectively with personal office and Committee staff in developing and executing an effective communications strategy for the Member. This is not an entry level position, and candidates must have at least three years experience in the field to be considered. All candidates for this position must provide: 1) a cover letter; 2) a resume; 3) three writing samples; and 4) three references. Apply to:


*The Association for Financial Professionals in Bethesda has an opening for a writer:

Association for Financial Professionals

Writer, Web & Publications

Location: Bethesda, Maryland

The Association for Financial Professionals is currently seeking a writer to conceive, develop and produce high-level financial content for web sites, blogs, magazines, videos and newsletters used by corporate treasurers and CFOs around the world. As part of our communications team, this person will support the organizational goals by researching, writing and editing the content needed by our professional, internationally based audience. Qualified applicants will possess strong writing, editing and proofreading skills, have the ability to adapt writing style to varying objectives and understand layout and design concepts for online content. They will feel comfortable interviewing high profile executives, regulators and bankers, producing content for a wide range of traditional and new media. Ideal candidates will have an understanding of finance/banking related issues as well experience with online content production. A four year degree in journalism, communications or a related field is preferred. The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) in Bethesda, MD, serves more than 16,000 individual members in corporate treasury and financial management. AFP provides professional certification, continuing education, public policy research, development of industry standards, financial tools and publications, training and career development, and representation to legislators and regulators. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, flexible schedules and performance bonuses. Interested candidates should e-mail/mail/fax their resume, cover letter, and salary history to: AFP ATTN: Human Resources (Writer, Web & Publications) 4520 East-West Highway, Suite 750 Bethesda, MD 21144 Fax: 301-907-2864 E-mail: Visit us at:

*Bisnow Media in D.C. is looking for a commercial real estate writer:

Bisnow Media

Commercial Real Estate Writer

Location: Washington D.C.

With 197,000 subscribers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, DC, Houston, LA, and NYC, Bisnow is growing rapidly and in need of a DC Commercial Real Estate Writer. Bisnow 12 produces e-newsletters on business niches, as well as 130 annual events for those niches in all the markets above. Our editorial style is fun, entertaining, yet informative.  Learn more about our culture and products at by reading our team bios, past issues, and reviewing our upcoming and past events.

DC Commercial Real Estate is Bisnow’s first and largest publication.  As such, this is one of our most coveted editorial positions.

Job Description

  • Work a beat writing three daily stories ranging from 90 to 120 words each Monday through Friday.
  • Cover the hottest trends, profiles, industry events, and happenings.
  • Build a network of the major players in the industry.

Pay: Competitive salary plus benefits


  • Willingness to work as part of a team
  • Ability to write in a snappy, fun, yet substantive way
  • Inquisitiveness, a desire to learn
  • Responsiveness, someone who returns emails and calls promptly
  • Strong organizational skills
  • A car to get around the DC metro

If interested in applying, please visit

*And last but not least today, FierceHealthPayer, an online health care publication, has a part-time contract opening for an editor/reporter:


Editor/Reporter (online/remote okay)

Location: N/A

An exciting opportunity is available to join the B2B healthcare reporting team at FierceMarkets.

We’re seeking a remote, contract journalist with specific experience writing for the healthcare payer market. The right person will take the reins of our weekly payer-focused online publication, FierceHealthPayer, and turn it into THE go-to news source for health plan executives. [Note: This is a part-time, contract-based position.]

As chief editor/reporter, you’ll own this publication by establishing the editorial calendar; designing and executing special reports; attending critical industry trade shows; harnessing social media to connect with and grow your audience; and setting the tone to ensure that your coverage delivers only the most critical, need-to-know news and information to busy health plan executives.

Because we’re entirely online, we’re seeking a reporter who is web- savvy; understands the ins-and-outs of SEO and web-based audience development; has experience as a blogger; has used social media to build their audience and who has product development experience. It’s a tall order, but we know you’re out there.

Here’s an idea of what this dynamic position requires:

  • Report and write weekly issues of FierceHealthPayer, including one op-ed Editor’s Corner every week
  • Plan and execute special reports and features
  • Develop and execute at least two webinars throughout the year
  • Develop proposals for eBooks and other custom editorial projects in partnership with the Senior Editor and Publisher
  • Cover 1 – 2 industry trade shows each year, as well as any shows held locally in your area
  • Occasionally moderate speaker panels and recruit speakers for live events


  • Specific, proven experience writing a B2B publication aimed at the payer audience and a clear understanding of who they are
  • Proven ability to write op-ed columns within this vertical
  • Documented ability to distill complex financial and regulatory information into plain-English
  • Web 2.0 journalism savvy and experience
  • Solid professional references

Please send your resume, sample editorials you’ve written and your three MOST RELEVANT clips to  We look forward to meeting you!

Happy hunting!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

When You’ve Been Out of the Market How to Get Your Search Back on Track

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