Students looking to clean up their online reputations are getting a leg up at some U.S. universities. Some schools have already begun helping students clean up their Internet image to give their students a healthy advantage.
Schools like Syracuse University in New York, and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD offer a free service called BrandYourself for students to scrub their online footprint before graduation reports the Associated Press.
With the pervasiveness of Facebook, Twitter, and other such social media sites; and with employers Googling potential employees, students and job applicants are becoming diligent when it comes to their online profiles. People with more common names can be confused for others who may have criminal records or negative online images.
BrandYourself is a new, do-it-yourself service that provides low-cost services for anyone who wants to clean up their online image. The basic service, which allows users to Google their names and select what shows up on the first page is free, while premium services, which allow for more customization cost around $10 a month.
The signup process is simple, with an e-mail address and a password, users can begin improving their Internet reputation in minutes.
Brand Yourself assigns a letter grade to subscribers’ search scores.When a subscriber enters their name into the search engine, the first 10 results are listed. The subscriber can select, positive, negative or not me, for the result. Positive results are pushed to the top of the list, while negative or not me results are kicked to the end of the list.
After Syracuse University began supplying free accounts to its graduating seniors the school negotiated an agreement with BrandYourself, to offer accounts to all students at not cost. Although the service isn't offered at every university in the country, it is an available and affordable option for students to begin tending their online presence before they enter the highly competitive job market.
The company was founded by Pete Kistler, Patrick Ambron and Evan Watson, three Syracuse alumni, who understood the need for individuals to improve their online reputation, without the cost of expensive online reputation services that don’t do much for individual customers.