Businesses have always cared about the reputations of their employees. It’s why they make a practice of asking for references. They want to know that other people have worked with you in the past and consider you a trustworthy person who can handle the responsibilities of your job and represent the business to their customers or associates when necessary.

While they still use references, today, employers or individuals you wish to network with have another way of discovering how you publicly handle yourself: the internet.

While it can be damaging to have publicly available information that gives off a negative first impression, it is also a problem to have no information at all. It leaves them wondering why. It’s considered normal to have a credible online presence, so why don’t you?

The good thing about all of this is that it’s something you can control. It is within your power to build a credible social media presence that gives the right first impression in your professional life. You can also use your online presence to network for opportunities actively and grow your career.

So how do you go about using your online profiles to build up your career reputation?

1. Finish Filling Out Your Profiles

Fill out your education and employment history. You probably have experience connecting with people in a professional setting. Fill out your profile with that tone in mind. If you were talking to a recruiter with questions, you would tell them your employment history, relevant skills you’ve learned, and would do it all with a tone that helped sell yourself. 

2. Join Career Relevant Groups

Some groups will be a waste of your time, but many others offer you the chance to up your professional online marketing. You never know who might lurk in these groups who could give you a leg up. 

3. Make a Habit of Updating Your Profile

If something happens at work, such as a promotion, make sure to update it on profiles to reflect it. Let others know about that amazing new project you just finished at your job. It may feel like bragging, but it also helps you network with the people interested in these accomplishments. 

4. Link Your Profiles In Your Email Signatures

Your social profiles are similar to business cards. They contain information for learning more about you and contacting you in the future. In the same way that you would hand someone you were talking to in person your business card, offer links to your social profiles at the bottom of your emails.