Managing your online presence to enhance your career prospects
Your digital footprint is everything on the internet that is about you. This could include
We are all being encouraged to put aspects of ourselves and our lives online, and much of this content is freely available to view. Each time we add something about ourselves on the internet we enlarge our own digital footprint. Whenever we mention someone else, we enlarge theirs.
Personal information is routinely collected by companies eager to market their goods or services and this can be retained for several years. Equally, your digital presence can be monitored by individuals looking for information about you.
You should first check what others can see about you. Search for your name using Google or other search engines and see what information already exists about you. Repeat the search regularly using services such as Google Alerts which give automatic updates. Although you may not have added anything new, your friends and family might have.
A digital footprint offers many advantages.
Some employment sectors (e.g. advertising, public relations and the media) may expect and actively encourage you to have a digital footprint. They may look for examples of your online creativity, for instance on blogs, profiles or videos.
You can enhance your digital footprint by carefully judged contributions to blogs, news articles and discussions, or by adding reviews to sites such as Amazon. Keeping a positive online presence regularly updated can reduce the impact of any earlier content you may regret, because most internet searches rarely access more than the top few results.
Before enhancing your digital footprint, consider whether it is worth the time and effort, and whether the content really does add value to your online profile.
If you use social networking sites such as Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn, or regularly post photos, videos, blogs and comments, make sure to manage your contributions carefully, since much of the information stored online becomes public by default. Unless you change your privacy settings, your social network pages will come up on a web search.
Anyone who finds out enough about you could potentially impersonate you, so be careful about the personal information you make publicly available. Potential employers have also been known to reject applicants on the basis of information discovered online.
Make sure that as and when you do meet people perhaps you’ve been to an event or spoken to people online or whatever context particularly around work, make sure you add them as connections.
Kelly Marwick, IBM UK Graduate and Student Recruitment: Schools and Universities Attraction Manager
Kelly Marwick, IBM UK Graduate and Student Recruitment: Schools and Universities Attraction Manager, IBM
From my personal my personal experience my personal opinion we don’t actually – we don’t check out people’s social media.
I would suggest though, just generally to students, that it’s probably best to keep your Facebook profile private, particularly obviously as a social tool and you want to share photos and speak to friends. It makes sense to keep that private.
With things like Twitter, a lot of people set up a separate professional Twitter if you like, so where they could follow industry articles, where they can follow companies they can ask questions. So that’s quite a good idea to have a separate private Twitter for that– I'm sorry – professional Twitter and then keep your own Twitter private, if you want to.
LinkedIn, of course, is you know make sure that’s as up to date as you can. Make sure that as and when you do meet people perhaps you’ve been to an event or spoken or spoken to people online or whatever context particularly around work, make sure you add them as connections.
And keep your profile up to date, put all your relevant skills, tag yourself with various things that you are good at.
Get recommendations, whatever you can do to, you know, publish that profile because it might be that hiring managers, when they're perhaps reviewing you, particularly if roles are in the social space, and we were talking about lots of companies are moving into social media nowadays and their mobile applications, it could be that hiring manager does have a look particularly at your LinkedIn profile probably just to see you know, what kinds of skills are on there, maybe the types of people that you’ve connected with already. So it’s worth making sure that’s as up to date as you can.