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Nati Katz, a public relations strategist, views his presence online as a kind of virtual storefront that he began carefully tending while in graduate school at Syracuse.

Google his name and up pops his LinkedIn page with a listing of the jobs he’s held in digital media and the “500+ connections” badge of honor. His Facebook account is adorned with Katz smiling over an elegant Thanksgiving dinner table. There are a couple of professional profiles and his Tumblr link, one after another on the first page of results and all highlighting his professional experience.

Before his 2011 graduation, he took the university up on its offer of the BrandYourself account and said it gave him a leg up with potential employers and internship supervisors.

“Fortunately, I didn’t have to deal with anything negative under my profile,” said Katz, who used the reputation website BrandYourself.com while pursuing dual degrees in public relations and international affairs. “What I was trying to form was really a nice, clean, neat page, very professional.”