When You Live Online, Your Life Is Your Portfolio… Live Accordingly

On my post yesterday about starting to think about your personal brand early my friend Samantha Warren left a very wise and true comment.

Students should also be aware of the repercussions of damaging their personal brand while in college. I don’t think some students realize that potential employers will Google them during the interview process. I have seen some less than flattering pictures of candidates at previous employers.

We live in an age where we live our lives online.  We broadcast our every thought and desire via things like our blogs and Twitter.

We also hang out with people who are happy to broadcast our lives for us.  I know that when I hang out with some people, I’m almost guaranteed there will be a photo of me on Flickr or Facebook or both later that day.

You can’t live your life in fear of saying something stupid.  If I did that, I’d probably never say anything.  I’ve said plenty of stupid things on and offline.  BUT…

You do have to think about what you say and what you do. Once what you’ve done is out on the Web, it’s really out there forever.

Samantha Warren recently wrote a blog post “How Many Pieces of Work Should you Include in your Web Portfolio?”  When you  live your life online,  your life is your portfio.  Everything you’ve done will be there to represent who you are and what you do, for better or for worse.

The Google Search Engine Results page for you almost becomes as representative of you as your resume.

How does that make you feel?  What do you see on your Google page?  Embarassing college party photos or a body of work that you’d be proud of?

2 thoughts on “When You Live Online, Your Life Is Your Portfolio… Live Accordingly”

  1. This is an issue I’ve been thinking about lately. It is something I struggled with for a long time between allowing my blog, twitter and other feeds to be associated with my name or keeping them hidden behind some online persona. There is fine line for a lot of us between our privacy and online reputation.

    My name is not unique and what comes up for me is not a good representation of me. I am not a real estate agent, I am not on a high school swim team, and I am not associated with the hosts of a morning talk show. So, yes if you have a unique name that search results page probably does become a great representation of your resume. For those of us with less unique names, I wonder how our reputation is impacted by that results page.

  2. @Justin- thanks for starting this conversation – I brought it up when I visited the graduating design students at JMU yesterday. It was eye-opening to learn that many of them never even considered this to be a possibility.

    @Kelly- I see your point with a common name, but the possibility they will try and search for your name plus a known detail about you is pretty high. “name+ your college” ” name+ something else on your resume”. It only takes a few minutes and a little creativity to find a lot of information about a person these days.

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