The world of social media is booming, and there is no indication that it is a passing fad. It is, however, a challenge for job seekers and anyone in a professional role.
Some people use social media to broadcast both important and trivial information, such as what they did for chores, where they went shopping, and what they ate for dinner.
There are also individuals who refuse to participate at all, which is not a recommended strategy for job seekers.
The caveat, of course, is that you must understand how to be active online as well as be mindful of your digital footprint.
What you post has the power to either assist or hurt your career.
What exactly is a digital footprint?
Consider a footprint you’ve left behind to get a sense of this concept. Depending on the surface you walked on, it may or may not last.
At first look, this may not appear to be relevant to online job search tools. The term “digital” relates to the internet, and more specifically, digital communication.
In other terms, it entails publishing any type of text on the internet. The “surface” of a digital footprint does not disappear instantly, as anything placed online can be saved.
When you leave a trail, what you post is likely to be viewed by both people you wanted to see it and others you did not plan to see it.
A digital footprint can be advantageous or negative depending on what is posted on social networking sites. This includes online profiles, blogs, and forums, as well as any comments.
As a job seeker, it is crucial to analyze your whole picture as a result of your digital stamp.
Make a list of all the online sites or areas where you frequently engage. Next, consider what you post and how others perceive you.
Use a search engine to try other spellings of your name, including or excluding your middle initial, and so on.
The results and length of the list may astound you. Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective employer: what information do they have?
What impact will it have on your candidacy if you’ve applied for a job with that company?
Taking Charge of Your Online Presence
If you uncover links to posts, pages, or websites that are improper for your image or are offensive in general, you may wish to take action.
You may begin erasing and deleting as many posts or comments as you choose.
If you are unable to delete posts and what was published generates a negative perception of you, you may need to engage a spin doctor.
Create a strategy for explaining or acknowledging those posts so you can explain why greater caution was not used.
Next, remove your social media accounts and unsubscribe from any potentially dangerous websites.
This is required because you must consider the long-term consequences of what you post.
The final step is to modify your privacy settings, which you may find surprising.
What you say on Facebook, for example, could be read by the general public or friends of a friend, so keep your personal life private and control what you say as well as the settings for what you publish.
If you are unable to change your privacy settings, look for alternative ways of contact.
Steps to Creating a Positive Image
#1. Examine your current digital footprint to eliminate the element of surprise. Consider what potential employers could see. This step is crucial even if you are not actively involved in social media.
#2: Plan your social media plan. Create a strategy for each website you use, including when you’ll publish, what information you’ll supply, and the online communities or organizations you’ll join.
#3. Remove any potentially harmful photographs, comments, or postings from your online presence. What you post should always serve to project a positive and ethical image of you.
#4. As a job seeker, it is advantageous to join professional organizations and groups. Use platforms like LinkedIn to create an online resume.
You might also begin a blog on your professional interests.
Never trash a past job and always act politely and professionally. The most important thing to remember is to be cautious of your surroundings.
Continuous Monitoring and Maintenance
The measures outlined above should never be regarded as a one-time event.
As a job seeker, it is vital that you maintain control over your online profile. You’ll realize that the words you post are a reflection of who you are.
If you spend a lot of time on social networking sites, you should do these things on a regular basis.
A negative or terrible footprint cannot always be completely eliminated, but it can be altered.
Check to see if you have access to the privacy settings for the websites you frequent, and then decide what is appropriate to put online, from the words you’ve used to the photographs you’ve posted.
Job seekers can find a plethora of options online.
Forming partnerships with other individuals or organizations and communicating properly are two ways to demonstrate your interest in a vocation.
Will a positive image and a well-managed digital footprint guarantee improved job search results?
No, but it will almost probably be a factor in your search, and a poor presentation will almost surely negate your candidacy when you apply for a job.
As a general guideline, be in command of what you say and where you put it.
While it may appear that you have tight control over what you do online, the purpose is not to limit you, but to make you think about the image you project and what employers may see.