Creating a digital footprint is not as scary as it may sound. In fact, it’s essential to establish a thoughtful and conscious identity online; especially if you are on the hunt for a job.
Your digital “footprint” is the trace of yourself that you leave in registrations, social media platforms and other online communities and forms. How impactful can one be? Well, hiring managers say that what they discover online often leads to a candidate winning a desired position. And Forbes reports that “more than a third of all employers utilize these (social media) sites in their hiring process”. Information found online conveys a person’s character, while also presenting skill levels.
Considering how much of our lives are now digitalized, there are many areas to contemplate when creating your personal online footprint. Use the following guidelines to start building a positive and well-rounded digital identity.
To establish an online identity, it's important to use your real name. There are some networking sites that require this and hiding behind or creating a fake identity can lead to negative consequences. Instead of using too much imagination, it’s best to keep it honest. Be real and be smart when you interact online.
Think about what you post, order or send online and how it would affect the way employers and professionals see you. Be conscious about showcasing your best qualities and remain cautious of how much personal information you share.
Using a consistent username online will help you brand your identity. It will make it easier for employers to find and search for your information. And it also helps to separate you from people with similar names. Be sure your information is unique, and also constant. Set your perspectives and viewpoints and stick to them.
Analyze your current footprint
Search your name and location and take note of what comes up in search engine databases. Besides the regular address and phone sites that pop-up, pay attention to LinkedIn profiles (create one, if you have not already) and any other social networking or online platforms that have your details. You should also check the image search to realize what types of digital photo stamp has been made by you, your family and your friends.
Control what you can
If you can set privacy settings, do so. Do not leave it up to an online company or platform to always maintain your security levels. Many sites offer customization abilities, but it’s up to the user to control them. Pay attention and read the fine print. With anything you enter online, be sure it’s as secure as possible. If you think you should copyright or trademark something, research and find out.
Build an effective digital resume
Last, but not least, be sure you have included factual and pertinent information online. You can build a free one page site with blogging sites like Wordpress that will easily showcase your past experience and education. Or you may want to choose a page builder platform like About.Me for a more modern online resume. There are plenty of effective resume editing services and online sources to aid you as well such as Essaymama with their personal proofreader approach.
Whether you work freelance or in the corporate world, you will still leave an online trail. Everyone has a digital impact and anyone looking to maintain a steady career and lifelong success needs to remain aware of their digital breadcrumbs.
And as your life changes, so do you. Remember to keep your information up to date. Consistency is important. You want to use your digital footprint to your professional advantage. Therefore you must remain focused on your attributes, and these tips, to create a confident and applicable digital footprint.
Kenneth Waldman is a professional content writer with over 5 years of experience. His expertise includes education, marketing, freelancing. You can get in touch with him on LinkedIn.