Understanding Your Digital Footprint

When you are on the hunt for a new job or seeking a promotion, your digital footprint can mean the difference between landing that dream position or not. One of the easiest ways for hiring managers to gain insight into prospective employee character is through their activities online, many of which extend far beyond social media.

Digital Footprint: one’s unique set of digital activities, actions, and communications; one’s overall impact, impression, or effect as manifested on the Internet; online presence of visibility as a person.

Many individuals have their social media account on private settings, which is a great start. Bear in mind that when others tag you in posts or images, those are subject to their privacy settings, not yours. If you are tagged in any suspicious circumstances, hit un-tag. Maintaining memories with your friends and family can be done in a more private method, especially when you are a job seeker. (They will understand.)

While it is important to be cognizant of images, also be aware of positive online activities.

Have you or your work been profiled in the media? Post about it! Those types of stories help prospective employers see the value and influence you can bring to their organization.

Do you have a stance on an issue in your community or workplace? If you present it in a calm, professional manner - post about it! As Alexander Hamilton said in Hamilton the Musical, “What do you stand for? … If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?” Showcasing that you have opinions and the ability to express them in a constructive manner can be of value to innovative workplaces. Employers are looking for people who think, not simply follow the herd.

Are you volunteering in the community? Post about it! Your volunteerism should be reflected on your resume (especially if it adds value to your skills).  Showcasing volunteer work online adds credence to what is stated on your application and in the interviews. The more your digital footprint matches your professional presence the more credible your application becomes.

While there are many pitfalls to the Internet, you can use your digital footprint to your advantage if you play it smart. The moral of the story – be careful and cognizant of what you post.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 4:15pm