Make Your Online Footprint Attractive to Employers

When you apply for a job, your potential employer is going to conduct an online search of you if they're even remotely interested in hiring you.

You won't have any pre-notification that they're going to do the search, so make sure you're prepared ahead of time.

Your online footprint refers to any of the results that turn up when someone searches your name on the Internet. Ideally, you want the search to reveal only positive information about you.

Unless you've involved yourself in nefarious doings online, such as trolling, leaving hate messages or comments, or posting scandalous images and videos, you should feel secure that your employer won't get an overly negative impression of you.

Keeping Up with the Times

If you have avoided the Internet like the plague, believing that Big Brother is watching and waiting to assimilate you into the New World Order, you might have a problem.

For the most part, employers these days want to hire people who have kept up with the times. This includes having an online identity beyond a White Pages listing, and some sort of proof of online existence.

It isn't necessarily fair that everyone should be identifiable online

That said it is usually the case with employers, as the article, "Thought Leader Series: How to Create an Online Footprint That Will ...," explains.

To make your online footprint attractive to employers, take at least one of the following steps:

Create a Website

You can create a very simple one-page website for free or very little money. The website can serve like a virtual business card. Use it to identify yourself.

Post information about your area of expertise, some background regarding your education, and perhaps a few details about your hobbies and interests. You don't need to blog weekly, or share intimate facts about what you had for dinner or your cat's name.

It is helpful, however, to post at least one professional image of yourself in business attire.

If you're using it like a business card, just direct your potential employer to your site via your cover letter.

Join an Online Group

There are lots of online groups where people with shared interests congregate to talk about experiences, get advice, and share ideas. There is certainly one that will interest you, and it may even be free to join.

Whether you're interested in stamp collecting, saving the environment or helping to elect the next president, it pays to get involved with others of the same mindset. When you join the group, make sure to comment on others' posts, and leave some original posts yourself.

On your resume, where you would write down your interests, include the fact about your membership in the online group to show that you're a modern user of the World Wide Web.

Whether you're happy about society's swing toward the digital world, or avidly against it, you will probably have to join in if you want to get a new job.

You don't have to go "all in," but even just dipping in with your toe will help your online footprint.

Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about recruiting issues in the modern world.

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