Home > jobs > #023 — Beyond the Paper: How Your Digital Imprint Affects Employment

#023 — Beyond the Paper: How Your Digital Imprint Affects Employment

March 10th, 2009

Your Digital Imprint

In this ever-changing but still new Digital Age, information travels fast.  Who you are is portrayed online both by you and others, most typically through social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Twitter.  I like to refer to this as your digital imprint.

Many have debated whether it should be done, but the fact is prospective employers are reviewing your digital imprint as part of their hiring process.  Checking popular social networking sites helps an employer get the makeup of a job candidate, for better and worse.  Associated Content says that “according to the executive search firm ExecuNet, about four out of five recruiters regularly run web searches to screen job applicants.  About one in three job seekers have been eliminated from consideration based on information the hiring company has discovered on social networking websites.”

Managing Your Digital Imprint

With high unemployment and many candidates to choose from, employers can afford to be very selective.  Properly managing your digital imprint can give you that extra leg up by providing a great impression of who you are.  Workvine.com offers the following tips (in bold) to help manage your Digital Imprint/

  • Conduct a search. Google yourself to see what, if any, information is out there.
  • Optimize positive links. Set up a professional page in your name.  Create positive associations with your name on the web.
  • Make the most of social networking sites. Be selective about who you allow in your network, since employers may notice with whom you like to associate.  Be particular about who comments on your page and edit comments when you deem necessary.  Your college frat buddies may have a lot of crude inside jokes that you just don’t want employers viewing!
  • Speak out selectively. Be careful when you comment on blogs or news websites, or at least use an alias.  Often the relative anonymity of the Internet allows us to articulate many views & opinions we wouldn’t dare say in public.  Think about what & how you say it before you type.
  • Be prepared to explain. We have all made mistakes, and with your Digital Imprint, that mistake can be around for a very long time.  If you find remarks by or about  you that cannot be removed, be prepared to address them with your employers.  They may be willing to give you a pass on those crazy Spring Break pics if it was ten years ago and you show yourself to be a more mature person!


I hope you’ve enjoyed the past two articles where we’ve gone “Beyond the Paper”.  You can link to the first article below:

Beyond the Paper:  Creating a Video Resume

Good luck with your job search!


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