Managing Reputation in the Digital World

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When IBM uses the Internet, social media, or any other channels for recruitment, IBM is careful to do so in accordance with our values, policies, the requirements of law, and our longstanding commitment to diversity and equal opportunity.

IBM also encourages individuals to take good care of their digital reputation - to exercise good judgment and to be thoughtful - so that their digital profile accurately reflects the one they want others to see. Digital reputation is the online image an individual presents about them self through all digital means: social computing platforms, blogs, websites, email, mobile devices, etc.

Each individual is responsible for their digital reputation, and should carefully and actively manage their reputation in the digital world, a world where information and images they post can go public and spread rapidly and can be seen and possibly considered by potential employers and others.

Reputation is important, and reputation online is an extension of an individual's personal and professional image. It is critical that individuals take the time to nurture and protect their digital reputation, and make informed decisions about what content they allow themselves to be linked to.

Individuals can manage their digital reputation by crafting, protecting, and maintaining an online image that provides a positive view regarding their overall character. They can greatly enhance their reputation by constantly working to further their knowledge and expertise and engaging in discussions in digital spaces to build and strengthen relationships.

In seeking to manage and build your digital reputation, abide by these high-level principles:

  • Your reputation is your brand. Treat your reputation as a highly valued asset in your professional portfolio. Be strategic and careful regarding what content you allow yourself to be linked to; everything you post or allow to be posted should be in support of building your digital reputation.
  • Think before you post. If you have doubts about the appropriateness of content, don't post it or let it be posted. Information can spread quickly and widely and can stay on the Internet for a long time; consider the implications of material to your digital reputation and whether or not you would want that material to still be visible in ten years.
  • Remain positive and constructive. Contribute content that is helpful and thoughtful in all situations. Don't make derogatory or inflammatory comments about other individuals or organizations. These statements can come back to tarnish your reputation. Being negative doesn't build credibility.
  • Strive for professionalism. As a rule of thumb, anything that would be inappropriate to say or do in public settings, such as the office, is inappropriate behavior on social networks.
  • Consider the long-term. Any reputation takes time to build, and a digital reputation is no exception. As previously mentioned, content posted online can remain there for a long time - make sure that the content posted about you builds a history of professionalism and insightful content.

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