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Digital Footprint can Damage your Employment

If you are a jobseeker or already employed by an organisation, beware the breadcrumbs you leave on social media that can cost you your job or stop you getting re-employed.

Whatever you post online will be seen by companies and employers as they check candidate names regularly on search engines and social media to see what they can find.

digital footprintNearly all recruiters type your name on google to see what will come up. The reasons recruiters do that is usually curiosity rather than to check whether you are suitable for the job or not. Although it is becoming a more popular policy throughout organisations, particularly for high profile positions, to see what Search Engines and Networking sites says about you. You should also take the necessary precautions to ensure that you have not become a victim of online identity theft. Falling victim to one of these schemes could put your name out there in a negative context, even if you aren't directly involved with the issue. You can help protect your identity by using strong passwords, installing anti-virus programs on your computer, and hiding all of your personal information. When someone pretends to be you on the internet, it could not only cost you in your personal life, but in your professional one as well.

Most of the employers will not give you a chance to explain yourself if they see something on your social accounts or the search results from search engines that is not very suitable for their companies. However there may be some recruiters that still invite you for an interview to talk about it if you are lucky.

So we can say that your personal existence (presence) online is as important as what you wear at a job interview. Content that is not considered politically correct may exclude you from the job hunting race.

Check your name before the recruiter



It's best to search your name on search engines before someone else (the recruiter) does. If you see anything that you think may be considered not appropriate and would damage your job hunt, then change it as soon as possible. Try to make sure that the first search results returned are from professional networks such as Linkedin.

Boost yourself online via your profile



Imagine that your prospective employer will come to your blog page and read whatever you wrote there. So post such things that make you stand out as the ideal candidate for that job and others. The best example would be posting information about your voluntary work for organizations. These days there are websites online which help people find voluntary work which mathces their interest by asking simple questions.

Do you really need to post negativity?



No, you don't. Social Media is not your house, it is not private, you are visible to everyone. Do not trust sites privacy settings, don't rely on them since they regularly change those settings. If you have something which could be misconstrued as inappropriate then simply don't write it – call up your friend instead!

No nicknames, nothing to hide



Don't use silly nicknames online as this may cause recruiters to get confused when they search your name and find that you have an odd nickname and could have a bad reputation online. There are many candidates for each job vacancy so don't think they will spend ages to search for your professional profile - they will just move on to the next applicant.

The digital footprint you leave behind can bring you a job or can cost you one! Keep your online reputation high in order not to be disappointed with your career opportunities.

Read more: 6 Things that Jobseekers Should Avoid

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