Naked CIO: Mud sticks - so Google your online reputation

A few scraps of internet misinformation can have lasting consequences for careers...

...professionally. First, everyone should check any personal references online, especially if you are in, or aspiring to, an executive role.

In the event unflattering or damaging information exists, you should try and remove it or at the very least respond to it if you can.

But that is just one part of the process. Professionals should also use the internet as a tool to communicate their image and reputation - through articles or even comments on blogs and other discussion sites.

This approach can show your skills and the capabilities you may bring to a prospective employer or others who may want to evaluate your credentials.

Promote your talents
Using the web as a way to promote your talents is a good method of developing your professional portfolio. You can even point others to online mentions to demonstrate your achievements.

Remember to keep your personal information personal online

Remember to keep your personal information personal online
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

In addition, make sure your personal life is separate from your professional life. Confusing the two can be a distraction to those looking you up. One way to do this is to modify your name on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Try using nicknames or variations that won't necessarily return results in a search on your real name. This tactic allows you to have those leisure pictures online without being afraid that others who don't really know you will see them.

Ignorance is certainly not bliss. If you don't know what is being said about you, it does not mean others aren't forming opinions from information on the web. Googling oneself is no longer narcissistic behaviour. It is now mandatory for anyone who wants to preserve and maintain a good reputation.