Managing Your Digital Footprint During a Job Hunt
The scary thing about the internet is that once you create a profile, make a post, create a blog, post a comment, or share a photo it can generally be found by anyone unless you delete it yourself. In saying that, sometimes, if your work or name is posted on a separate site run by someone else, it can be extremely hard to remove.
Every online move you make with your name or email (which is a general pre-requisite to signing up) can appear in a google search. And you can be sure that potential employers are googling you before they make a decision about hiring you.
The hard part about managing an online persona is that most social profiles (apart from LinkedIn) are personal and your target audience is your friends and family, not your boss and colleagues. But generally, it pays to think before you post. Here are the top 5 things you can do to manage your digital footprint during a job hunt to make sure that when people search for you, they find only good things.
Yep, you have to google yourself. This ensures that you know exactly what’s coming up when someone is looking for you online. If things come up about you that you don’t like, make a list of all the spring cleaning that needs to be done. If you find that you’re on sites controlled by others, you’ll have to start sending emails upon emails to try and get that content removed. Please note, there’s no shame in having a personal blog or webpage, and if this comes up you don’t have to delete it, just make sure the content is appropriate and not offensive. Often, it’s a bit of a bonus for a potential employer to see you from a personal standpoint and not just as any other applicant.
Do a spring clean of content that is inappropriate or that you don’t want to appear
Once you know what you have to remove, spend how ever long you need spring cleaning. This can be anything from Facebook photos to old accounts of sites you didn’t know existed anymore!
Check your privacy settings and make sure they are as secure as possible
Even though you’ve spring cleaned by now, you don’t want a potential employer to see everything. Your life is your life and generally we only have people on social networks that we have requested or accepted. Take the required steps to ensure everything is as private as possible. And of course, make sure your profile picture is appropriate because this can usually be seen by all, even with the highest privacy settings. A useful tip is to sign out of your account and search for yourself on whichever social network to see what others can see.
Start posting quality content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is another place employers may look for you. If you have a full profile that is up to date, that is awesome! What’s even better is having a few articles written by you as well as consistent posts. When you have this kind of content available on a professional level, it’s one more way of selling yourself beyond the interview. The hiring manager will be able to see what your insights are as well as acknowledging that you are passionate and active about your work. By having a presence on LinkedIn you will earn major brownie points.
Become engaged on LinkedIn
Don’t just post things! Be engaged too. Offer value with your posts but also offer value and opinion through comments on other posts. It’s important to show you are interested in others and value other people’s input online. It requires effort and extra work to create content for a personal LinkedIn so when you appreciate that about others it shows you are a good communicator and listener. It also shows that you are interested in reading and extending yourself to the opinion of other people to better develop your own self or work ethic. More brownie points!
As always though, think before posting, double check your grammar and spelling and make sure you’re adding value or encouragement. Don’t be negative!