Your Digital FootPrint and Job Search!

A digital footprint is data that is left behind by users on digital services. There are two primary classifications for digital footprints: passive and dynamic. A passive digital footprint is created when information is accumulated without the owner knowing, whereas active digital footprints are created when personal information is released deliberately by a user for the intent of sharing information about oneself by means of websites or social media.

A good way to paraphrase the definition of digital footprint is that it is a summary of the trails for all you have done on the internet on all your email addresses and other social media platform such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, snapshot, Google and what have you.

Every information ever fed into forms, questionnaires, social media platforms and different websites are extracted by different online cookies, which help file your information away on the internet.  However, note that the information is not limited only to those you share, but what is posted online by other people like your family, friends, schools and other organization you may belong to.

The question you would like to ask is if having a digital footprint is a sane thing to do. I would like to say that one may not be able to avoid having No digital footprint as we all use emails to say the least. So the question of sanity may be excused for that reason alone.

Have you ever googled yourself?

You will be mystified at what information the search engine will bring up.

I am more particular about the influence your digital footprint has on your employability potential.

What do potential Employers see when they search for you on the internet, would they like what they see?

Is your digital footprint a good measurement unit for your personal brand?

A survey from CareerBuilder in 2014 found that 51 percent of employers who search job prospects on social media said they’ve found content that caused them to not hire the candidate, up from 43 percent last year and 34 percent in 2012.

Some recruiters did not consider some candidates because of the information found in their digital footprint. Information such as photos that were adverse to their company vision, the candidate was always bickering with different people on their twitter or Facebook pages, some candidates shared private information about their previous employers.

We may have assumed that the social media is our online diary where we keep all our little not so secret information. There is really no permanent anonymous person online. It is usually temporary until something or someone gives you away.

It is rather important that every individual whether you are an active or passive job seeker watch what you share or what people share about you as it may either assist you take that juicy job or miss it.

That is not to say there are no benefits of being active on social media. If your social media presence or brand reflects a profession, your hobbies, social activities that would help build your desired network?    I would say, go for it. Even though, your social media activities are not the only determinants to you being offered a job, but it articulates a great deal about you beyond work hours.

 It is easy to align  professional brand and personal brand these days. This is because people often assume that you must love your job and your vision and aspirations are shared to a certain extent by the company you work for.

An average professional understands the importance of having a LinkedIn profile and also realize that Twitter and Facebook profiles can help employers confirm their identity and expertise. I would like to stress that there will invariably be a connection between your digital footprint and personal online brand.

I am recommending that you distinguish and build your personal brand (online and offline) Click here to read about Creating your personal Brand.

If you are going to take advantage of the digital footprint you have, you might as well do a grand job, get active doing the right things, expand your social network, communicate with professionals, follow them on twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, Get buzzing with information that matter to your belief system, visions and career.

Don’t leave your digital footprint to happenstance, you can manage and control what you put on the internet to a large extent. Build the brand, explore the possibility of creating a virtual network and have fun being a success at it.



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