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Monday, November 12, 2012

4 Tips in Creating a Stellar Digital Footprint

Smart phones have changed the way our society obtains information. Any random thought or question we have can be answered with a simple internet search.  Unlimited amounts of information are with us everywhere we go and literally right at our fingertips. See that cute guy behind the counter at Starbucks? Sneak a peek at his nametag next time and see what comes up on a quick Google search. The internet is like drunk-texting; you can never take those words back or erase them. Every Facebook post, tweet, blog, comment, uploaded photo, video and official state records are saved on the web. This collaboration of media makes up your digital footprint. Employers use this tool to scan potential candidates. For this reason, it is vital to create and maintain a pristine and employer-friendly digital footprint.

1. Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry on the Web
Remember that time when you partied too hard, drank too much and removed too much clothing? Yup and now does your not-soon-to-be boss. Give a critical eye to every photo you upload to the web or were tagged in. Is this how you would want to present yourself to potential employers?

2. Blog, Comment, Blog, Comment, Blog
Even if you are job hunting in a field that does not require writing every day, blogging shows employers you can COMMUNICATE effectively. Clear communication is a key component in any successful organization. This is a chance to show employers your insights, your ability to back up a claim and your knowledge on current events.

3. Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Up-to-Date
LinkedIn is a networking site that shows your professional profile. This medium is a place to display every good recommendation, profile piece and award you have ever gotten. LinkedIn is one of the first pages that show up when employers do an internet search. This is your opportunity to brag yourself up and give employers many reasons why they should hire you and why you are different than other candidates.

4. Know Your Footprint Backwards and Forwards
Search your name on multiple searching sites and forums. Discover everything that is being said about you on the internet. Realize that there are probably more people out there that you share the same name with.  Make sure employers know that you are “John Joseph Doe” so that can separate your from other people’s digital footprints.

Read the article, “45% of Employers Use Facebook/ Twitter to Screen Job Candidates,” and see the results from a survey of why employers didn’t hire candidates based on their digital footprints.

Courtney Wolf
University of Minnesota
Jour 3279
Blog Assignment