Hi, everyone! Tasha here.

This post discusses the following:

  • How technology changed job searching
  • What is digital identity?
  • Evaluating your digital identity
  • Having an online presence

How Has Technology Changed Job Searches and Careers?

Aspects of the job search have changed (e.g., résumés and cover letters). The way that people network (e.g., using online profiles and professional networking sites) has also changed. You need to consider your digital identity in your job search and career. You also need to begin using technology; if you do not, you may be at risk of missing key resources and opportunities.

What is digital identity?

digital identity is a collection of data that uniquely describe a person. From this, an online identity is established. It can be challenging to separate personal and professional lives. It was easier to keep your personal and professional lives separate from one another before the Digital Age, the Internet, and social media. Since 2004, people’s personal and professional lives started to blur together.

The audience that you share something with online has far greater reach than what you may intend. This has made the awareness of your image and the message that you send even more critical. However, by embracing your digital identity, you increase your ability to connect with others in important ways.

Evaluating Your Digital Identity

Because social media and the Internet blur the lines between personal and professional, it is important to assess your online presence. Who is your audience when posting online? Would you be embarrassed if your family, friends, or customers saw something that you posted or commented online? Do you know what information is available online about yourself?

Click on this link to view a resource that offers advice on how to manage your digital footprint: https://www.internetsociety.org/learning/digital-footprints/

On any online network, you need to keep in mind that privacy settings are not foolproof. Although networks have different privacy policies, the bottom line is that you simply do not know what will happen to any information after you post it on the Internet. There are no guarantees that pictures that are marked as private will actually always be private. There are no guarantees that deleting an image or a post from your profile means that it no longer exists. Inappropriate pictures and comments will not lead to a good first impression and may cost you a job offer. Make smart choices when considering what to share about yourself on the Internet; always err on the side of caution, and leave as little up to chance as possible.

Research Yourself

You will not know how successful you are at building an online presence until you do some research about yourself. You can check by visiting a search engine, type your name in the search field, and investigate the results.

Click on the following link to read an article about social media: https://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/05/how-using-social-media-can-get-you-fired.html

Watch the following video to learn the role that your social accounts play when you apply for a job:

Companies are using social media to find people to interview. A strong social media profile can show employers that you are a strong, prospective candidate. Without an online profile, you may miss an opportunity. An unprofessional profile can lessen your chances of getting an interview and landing a job. You should consider your online identity when searching for a job and throughout your career. As you continue to work, you will shape who you are professionally by networking and engaging in your industry. Use social media as a way to extend your brand and promote yourself.

Having an Online Presence

Online profiles are an effective way to gain the attention of employers as well as to network. These profiles can help advance your career. Without an online presence, you may be missing out on some great job opportunities. Most jobs are not listed in the help wanted sections of newspapers anymore.

Today, most companies advertise jobs through social and professional networking Web sites. For many fields, job searches for entry-level positions are completed online. Not having an online presence or having an ineffective one can affect your job search. If you do not have an effective profile out there, you are severely limiting the number of potential jobs for you to pursue.

The following video discusses digital identity on social media:

Creating a profile on a social or professional networking Web site is a good start. The more visible that you are on the Internet, the more likely that an employer will find your information. View each Web site where you can create a profile as an opportunity to promote your brand and meet people. This will put you in a better position to get the job that you want and advance in your career.

Maintaining a High-Quality Image

In addition to being optimized for searches, your profiles should be accurate, complete, and consistent across all social networking sites. The purpose of this is to cultivate your brand. You need to include a great amount of relevant detail, such as the following:

  • Work experience
  • Names of employers
  • Community service
  • Your strengths

You can also include portfolio pieces, photos, and books or presentations that connect to your future job. Some Web sites allow others to post letters of recommendation on your behalf. These letters should tell of your accomplishments and why you would be a great hire. If you have work published online, you can provide links to those sites as well. You can share information that shows your personality or interests. This will show that you are a well-rounded person. It is important to remember that your interests as well as aspects of your personality need to be appropriate and relevant.

If you end up using several social networking sites, you want to make sure to be consistent with the dates that you were employed, job titles, and key activities. If a hiring manager sees your profile on one social networking site and then sees different information on another, they may think that something is wrong and pass you over for someone else.

What should you showcase online?

Everything that you post needs to be consistent so that you can continue to promote your personal brand. You want all of the pieces of information about you on the Internet to be cohesive. You also need that information to show the same professional level of quality and attention to detail.

What to Leave Out of Your Profile

What do you want a future employer to know about you beyond your past work history, education, and skills? Some people post the wrong kind of information or post too much information. Either one of these mistakes can turn employers away. You will want to walk a fine line between conveying your interests and remaining professional, which means that you need to be selective about what you place on your profiles.

Do not post personal information, casual pictures of yourself, or any messages that have a negative tone. For example, if you are a runner and have just finished a marathon, writing that in an error-free post will improve your brand. This shows that you have balanced interests, are conscious of your health, and have discipline. A post about winning a drinking contest or a post about how much you dislike your current job will damage your reputation. Having a positive image will help you over those that do not in the eyes of employers.

Market Your Brand Consistently

When you are crafting your brand, you want to come across as professional and skilled. If you spend a great deal of time making a profile on one site, you should spend the same amount of time to develop others. Your profiles will be different due to the different setups on each site; however, the basic information should remain the same. The information on your paper résumé should also match what you have posted online. If you have different information in different places or a hodgepodge of different styles, formatting, and thoroughness, you will not have a consistent brand message.