Impressions, in-person and online, are more important nowadays than ever before.  With a vast majority of folks using social media, we are front and center with people who could help shape our lives.

As I entered the professional world of television and radio back in the 90s (man, that sounds so old to say), I needed to rely on my resume and a demo tape.  In some senses, the tape was the “early” form of social media because that was my “on-air” persona.

In the last five years, we have seen Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the blogosphere serve as an online portfolio. The importance in this, to me, is that you can be constantly judged by colleagues, employers, and potential employers. How can you prevent someone from getting the wrong impression of you? Here are three ways.

1. Be smart- The old adage “think before you say something” can be re-imagined as “think before you tweet/post on Facebook.” Simply put… If you don’t want to see it retweeted, don’t type it.

2. Be honest- No one- friends or employers- like a fake.  It’s pretty easy to spot a fraud in social circles.  If you want to be taken seriously, show what you are about.  Drop some knowledge!

3. Be engaging- Something I stress in speeches and talks with clients is the importance of engagement.  You can have a Twitter account, but what are you doing with it? Show your networking and communications skills.  Get out there and participate.

Are you always thinking about your online presence? If so, what advice would you give?