Whether you’re looking for a job or selling your services on Zoondy, it’s important to create a professional online presence. Today, hiring officers and potential customers routinely conduct online searches. In the course of their online search, the people you hope to begin a business relationship may very well read your blog, check out the photos and messages on your Facebook page or read your tweets.

According to a 2009 Microsoft survey, 79% of recruiters reviewed applicants’ online information and 70% rejected candidates based on their findings.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably posted something online that you would prefer to keep private or at least wouldn’t want a potential boss or client to see. Unfortunately, in an era when we tend to share online whatever we’re thinking at the moment, it’s easy to forget that nothing posted on the internet is ever truly private.

To protect your professional reputation, it is essential to separate your professional life from your personal life. You can do this by creating a business website, Facebook business page, Twitter account and blog to which you only post information promoting your skills or related to your business. If you are self-employed, you’ll want to use your online resources to promote yourself and your brand; market the products, skills or services you offer; build your reputation as an expert in your field; and connect with other professionals in your field. If you are employed by someone else, you’ll need to be careful about posting any information that refers to your job or your company. Many employers have policies that prohibit sharing information not sanctioned by employer. You could risk being fired by talking about your company online.

But protecting yourself from here on out isn’t enough. Google yourself and see what pops up. You need to cull through your online postings and delete posts, photos and any other information an employer or client might find objectionable or inappropriate. To protect yourself, choose the highest possible privacy settings for your personal social media accounts.

For more business tips, read The Zoondy Daily.