There are two ways to look at your Digital Footprint. It can be used as a resource for your career search or it can be harmful to your search.
Reviewing your Digital Footprint
It’s important to know what information about you is available on the internet. Instead of assuming your online presence is all in order, it's best to take these steps to ensure you're putting your best profile forward:
- Google your name and see what comes up in the search!
- Ensure that all your personal accounts are private
- Be aware that even when your account is private, once you comment on an article or post online you are leaving a digital footprint
- If an employer decides to Google a candidate, what they find may influence their decision regarding your applications
- Be responsible with all of your interactions online
Using Social Media in your Career Search
Identify which social media platforms can be useful for your career search. LinkedIn, in general, can be used in all job searches regardless of the industry. It can be used for building up your network of contacts and also identifying career opportunities.
Separate your personal and professional accounts. If Twitter, Instagram etc are important to the industry you want to work in, make sure you have professional accounts set up. If you would prefer to just have one account used both personally and professionally, make sure you can still apply privacy settings to anything you feel does not fit in with your professional brand. Include these platforms on your CV, directing potential employers to the online profiles you know will benefit your application
Blogging to show off your skills
Why not set up a blog that relates to your area of interest? Think of the blog as your professional website. Use it to link to all your professional social media platforms and use it to show your interest in the area you are looking to start/continue your career in. Social Media can be a fantastic asset in your professional career. If you chose to use these platforms as part of your branding just make sure there is a consistent message across them all.