The Importance of Your Online Presence

Hi SPJ members! If you missed last week’s meeting or would like a refresher, here’s a recap of what we did.

We welcomed CBS News Internship Coordinator Katie Curcio on Skype, who gave a presentation about managing your online presence.

Each member who attended the meeting wrote his or her name down on a sheet of paper when when entering the room. We set up a screen share on Skype so we could see Curcio’s computer screen and asked her to Google our members’ names at random.

Upon Googling someone’s name, she looked for a Facebook account, a Myspace page, and any interesting blog or article that she could find. She then walked us through her thought process when she makes a selection to hire an intern for CBS News. She examined the appropriateness of pictures posted online and glanced at Twitter posts for the merit of their content.

Curcio explained that  due to the many applicants that she has each quarter, she doesn’t have the time to Google everyone’s name and primarily uses the Internet as a tie breaker between two potential interns. If she finds content on the web, she’s more likely to select that person.

Curcio’s approach to using the Internet as a tool was much different than that of other employers. Each person relies on the web in different capacities. Some will not even consider an applicant who does not tweet, blog, or have some sort of presence on the web. Others do not place web content as a top priority when making a hiring decision.

Because the attitude towards the Internet varies from employer to employer, the most important thing to take away from all of this is that you should be prepared for  the employer who pays the most attention to your presence on the Internet. It can never hurt you to tweet, blog, or maintain a website, so long as you do so in a professional manner. You never know who is reading what you post online, so always post for the lurking audience that you do not realize is there.

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