Your digital footprint is the crumbs you drop every time you upload, check in somewhere, or like something on social media. For many people, it is a harmless way to connect with friends and family. However, not everyone approaches social media with caution, the way one should. In today’s world, nothing is private. We know when Becky gets a new puppy, Brad ate Thai food for lunch and only gave it 3 stars, and that Brian cannot wait for his trip to the local amusement park with his extended family. Social media is now used as a professional tool. Many recruiters and hiring committees rely on social media to screen candidates. By using social media to market yourself in the best way possible, it makes you a much more valuable candidate. Below are three tips on how to clean up your digital footprint!
- Google yourself!
- The more active you are on the web, the more likely you are to appear in a Google search. Many recruiters Google their candidate’s name to see what appears. Whether it’s being on the Dean’s List in 7th Grade or a photo of you at a Frat Party, both will be taken into consideration. Delete any negative things that appear. Also delete any inactive accounts, or older accounts altogether.
- Limit yourself!
- Not only should you limit what you post on social media, but also who is allowed to see it. On Facebook, you can choose who sees what of your followers. Let’s face it, not all 739 connections are your close and intimate friends. If you check into FourSquare or win the high score on FarmVille (while you’re supposed to be at work), limit the people who can see your posts. They will not show up on the main timeline. On Twitter and Instagram, you can make your profile private. For others to view what is posted, you must allow them to follow you. However, try not to have stuff to hide. Limit what you post. You are not your 9th-grade self anymore, and I am sure your employer does not need to know how emotional you were watching The Bachelorette finally. How you market yourself on social media is important. Be wise in your word choice, fashion choice, and locations you find yourself in. Your digital footprint gives others an idea of who you are, what you value, and how you value yourself.
- Watch yourself!
- It is important to keep track of where you appear on social media. With facial recognition software, you can appear anywhere. Protect yourself from being associated with negative posts, etc. by being active often. Consistently check to make sure you are represented the way you would like to be professionally. Overall, be smart. Your digital footprint can impact you long-term. Take some time to clean it up.