Building a Digital Reputation

"A good reputation is better than fame." ~Louis Dudek, Canadian poet

It's a common practice nowadays for an employer to look you up on the Internet before an interview (see "Google is the New Pre-Interview"). Employers can find out which Facebook pages you like, what news sites and blogs you comment on, how you rate products on, how you present yourself using social media, and how you communicate with others (Hint: Employers are not looking to hire an individual whose tweets look like this: "OMG, FML today sucks :((((" ) (see Hey Job Applicants, Time to Stop the Social-Media Sabotage).

It is now more important than ever to take charge of building and maintaining your digital reputation. Your digital reputation is a compilation of all of the mentions and instances of you on the Internet. It is important to be proactive in building a strong digital reputation because this is often the first impression that others have of you. This website will provide you with tips, advice, and guidance for building a strong digital reputation.

Start by doing a vanity search. Then, learn how you can use social media to your advantage. Next, create your personal brand and build a digital portfolio. Finally, use social media and web 2.0 tools to establish your expertise. Once you have a strong professional profile (e.g., LinkedIn) or digital portfolio (e.g.,, then share the link by adding it to your e-mail signatures, business cards, CV/resume, and cover letters. This will point future employers to your professional site, which is much better than waiting for them to Google search your name.

Note: Building a digital reputation does not just happen overnight. Take your time. After you've cleaned up your search results, select one tool (e.g., LinkedIn) to focus on. As you get more comfortable using social media and web 2.0 tools, you can start using more tools to develop your online presence.

This website was designed by:

Torrey Trust, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Learning Technology at UMass Amherst