7 Ways To Maintain Your Virtual Reputation 7

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

– Benjamin Franklin

With the advent of the internet men today are faced with a new opportunity… and danger.

If you develop a strong virtual reputation, the internet could help you get a job, but, conversely, a badly managed online reputation could make you lose a job opportunity.

Use the following seven tips to optimize your online reputation.

1. Email Address

Using a professional sounding email address is crucial to your online image. Although voraciousreader@hotmail.com would be fine for personal use, it is certainly not acceptable for professional purposes.

When choosing an address, you need both a professional username (the part before the”@” symbol) and a good domain (the part between the “@” and the “.com”).

If you use a free service, choose one with a good reputation, such as Gmail. If you purchase your own domain, choose one that sounds professional.

For the username, you can use your name or your business’s name.

2. Email Body

Once you have a professional email address, you need to start working on the email content. Because emails are written so frequently, it is easy to grow complacent and start sending badly written and unprofessional emails.

However, each time you send an email, you are either building or destroying your reputation.

Although email writing is much too large of a topic to detail here, I will mention two simple rules that will help you avoid most email blunders:

Rule #1: Always, always, always proofread before you send.

Rule #2: Never write something that you would not want to receive.

In short, be attentive to detail and only send professional emails.

3. Email Signature

Your email signature contributes greatly to your online reputation. Although simply typing your name can do the trick, you should improve your signature by including more information.

For instance, my current email signature (I change it frequently) says:

God bless,
Nate
Editor-In-Chief, PracticalManliness.com

In addition to the name, signatures can include:

  • Job Descriptions
  • Business/Website Names
  • Phone Numbers
  • Addresses
  • Mottos/Business Tag Lines

Your email signature is a type of business card, so it should include your most important information.

4. Social Networking Accounts

Social networking sites can do a lot to improve your reputation. However, when badly handled, they can also create major problems.

When using a social networking site such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you must realize that your potential employers will most likely visit your online profiles at one time or another.

If you have not already done so, look over all your online profiles and remove any insider jokes or other content that could be misunderstood.

You do not have to make your communications on these sites strictly “professional”, but you do want to avoid anything that could potentially reflect badly on your character.

5. Digital Pictures

The pictures that you publish online will have a vast influence on your virtual reputation.

If you have not already done so, hire a professional photographer to take a picture of you in business attire. Using this picture in your online profiles and resume will help improve your virtual image.

On the other hand, any unprofessional pictures will detract from your reputation. Even if you share the picture with a “private” network – such as on Facebook – it can quite easily be released to the world.

Before sharing any picture online, carefully consider the effect it could have on your virtual image.

6. Online Resume

Posting your resume online is an important step in developing a strong virtual image. Either on your own personal website (i.e., www.yourname.com) or on a free site like LinkedIn, you should take the time to upload your resume.

Even if you are not actively looking for a job right now, posting a resume will give you a head start if you do need to in the future and will help improve your online reputation.

7. Other Content

Whether you are commenting on blogs, publishing occasional articles, or even writing your own blog, the assorted content that you publish online has a powerful effect on your repute.

Always be careful to use proper grammar and spelling. If your writing is useful, your reputation will be greatly benefited, but, if your writing is poor, it can hurt your virtual image.

If you are not a strong writer, make sure you have someone else proofread for you before you publish online.

Conclusion

Although these seven different tips can help you improve your reputation, the only sure way to earn and keep a good reputation is by deserving it.

If you have good character, your virtual image will naturally reflect it, but, if you personal integrity is low, you cannot hide it forever.

Be a manly man, and it will show.

How do you manage your virtual reputation?

7 thoughts on “7 Ways To Maintain Your Virtual Reputation

  1. Reply Stormbringer Feb 24,2010 4:24 PM

    I am a firm believer in having more than one e-mail address. Although I have too many (if you sign up for a service, surprise! new address), I have something professional sounding as well as something fun. Choose between “Cowboy Bob”, “Stormbringer” or “First Initial Last name @ my ISP”.

    Since there are reports that prospective (and current) employers check what you do on Facebook, watch out what you put on there and who you associate with. Best to not even use the thing, in my view. But social networking should be kept separate from any contact information that you want to give anyone on a professional basis. That way, when someone gets drunk and cusses you out or posts a questionable picture with your name tagged on it, there is some distance for you.

  2. Reply bondChristian Mar 2,2010 2:22 PM

    Great site, Nate. An obvious ripoff of The Art of Manliness… but then so is Stuff Christians Like, and I like Jon’s site too. :)

    Very cool. I’m looking forward to reading more from you and watching how this develops more. Thanks for writing.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

    By the way, I found you through a comment you left at the Rebelution.

  3. Reply Nate Desmond Mar 2,2010 6:37 PM

    bondChristian,

    Thank you for your encouragement, sir.

    Practical Manliness is in the same general niche as AoM, but we have a slightly different focus: While AoM is written for people of all religions, Practical Manliness focuses on Christian manliness.

    Although people of other religions are (obviously) welcome to read, we do come from a Christian perspective.

  4. Reply Stormbringer Mar 2,2010 7:59 PM

    Just wanted to elaborate on the “ripoff” aspect. There are several sites for men, and I believe that there is a need for various approaches. It is not a ripoff of AoM, just like AoM is not a ripoff of AskMen.com. Different approaches is all. AoM developed, and I’m sure Practical Manliness will sharpen its focus over time. One suggestion, if you have a forum or “community”, you may want to make it clear that it is clear that it has a Christian perspective.

  5. Reply bondChristian Mar 5,2010 3:06 AM

    You’re welcome, Nate. I definitely got the Christian vibe right away – I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was because of how I found you (through the Rebelution).

    Sorry about the term “ripoff.” I didn’t meant to belittle the site – I meant it more in jest. As you said, Stormbringer, I think every blog (at least for now) is a ripoff of another… mine certainly is and so are the other blogs I read. Though I definitely think Practical Manliness is a closer copy of AoM than AoM is of AskMen.com, I’m looking forward to participating in the direction you have going here.

    Anyway, happy blogging to you. I hope I’m way more of an encouragement to you and others here than a discouragement. With the way I seem to have started, I’ll have to get extra active to make up for it. :)

    On a completely unrelated note, I noticed when I tried to comment that “How to write (and publish) a magazine article” didn’t show up on the blog even though I had it in my RSS reader. Is there a reason why you took it down, or am I just missing something?

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  6. Reply Nate Desmond Mar 5,2010 9:27 AM

    @ bondChristian

    Thanks for your comment!

    Don’t worry about the “ripoff” thing. I know that Practical Manliness is very similar to AoM, so it will be my job to show the difference.

    About the comment problem – that article was not actually supposed to be published. While I was editing, I accidentally pressed “publish”. Once I realized the error, I took the article down, and it is scheduled to be published in about a month. Sorry for the trouble.

  7. Reply bondChristian Mar 6,2010 3:07 PM

    Oh, I know… I’ve done that too. When I mean to hit “Save” or “Schedule,” I actually publish it. No problem on my end, though – I’ll just have to wait until next month to comment. Thanks – I’m looking forward to it.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

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