What Is Your Digital Footprint?
Your digital footprint is everything on the Internet that’s about you. This could include your profile on Facebook or MySpace, photos that you or your friends & family have posted online, as well as anything you have ever written on discussion boards, blogs or anywhere else.
• Are you aware of your own digital footprint?
• Is there anything online that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see?
Other people, including potential employers, will be aware of your digital footprint even if you aren’t!
“More than half of all adult internet users have used a search engine to follow others’ footprints” (Pew / Internet, 2007)
Step 1: Uncover Your Digital Footprint
You should first check what others can see about yourself – use Google or other search engines and search for yourself.
Make sure you continue to research yourself regularly so that you know what others will find. You might not have added anything new but your friends or family might have!
You can use services such as Google Alerts to receive automatic regular updates.
Step 2: Take Advantage of Digital Footprints
You can use the Internet to create an up-to-date positive online presence that showcases your skills, experience & interests.
1. Create a profile that includes your CV on a professional social networking site such as LinkedIn. Make sure you keep this profile & your CV up-to-date.
2. You can further enhance your digital footprint by commenting on blogs, news articles & discussions, adding book reviews on sites such as Amazon, or even writing your own blog.
Creating an up-to-date positive online presence will also help ‘hide’ any earlier less desirable content about you. Most internet searchers don’t look beyond the top few results.
When researching employers don’t forget to look at the professional social networking sites to check out the employer’s digital footprint!
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