How does your ‘digital self’ impact on job applications?

One of the most crucial elements we overlook when applying for jobs is our “digital self”. Your digital footprint is an extension to any job application you make and most of the time applicants forget the impact inappropriate social posting can have.

Your digital profile is all traces of your online activity. This includes the photos and videos you share and status updates on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. It also includes any comments you make on other people’s posts, as well as news articles or other online content.

Right across the UK millions of us are active social media users, whether this be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to name some of the more popular sites. We all use social media in very different ways; for some it could be to promote a product or service, for starting and building relationships, keeping in touch with friends and family –or maybe because you just enjoy interacting and sharing content with like minded individuals.

But do we often think of the impact every action is having on our digital footprint which could leave a positive or negative impression to potential recruiters?

There are steps you can take to prevent a negative “digital self”

– common sense would tell you, firstly just don’t post or engage with content online that could be construed as personal opinion or a reflection of your character.

– double check your privacy settings. For example, Facebook privacy settings allow you to control who can see your posts. Customising who can see your Facebook posts is arguably one of the most important security measures to take. Though Facebook did change its default timeline post settings from “public” to “friends” in 2014, users still have the option to change their privacy settings for Facebook posts and photos. Most people limit their posts to ‘friends only’, so their content and images are not available to everyone including new employers. Social media privacy settings change often, so you should keep on top of these changes.

– review all of your social media profiles before you start applying for jobs.

– share useful and interesting content from others, particularly if they are focused around the sector you are applying within – but be careful not to over-do it either.

– Google yourself, if you dare. An employer will probably Google you, therefore it might be good to know what they’ll see. Look through the first few pages of search results – is there anything about you and is it positive and professional? If you see anything from your social media or any comments you have made that doesn’t make you look good, take it down. Now we doubt that President Joe Biden will have this issue in the future but he was the most googled person in 2020.

– when constructing your CV, include your LinkedIn profile URL. Read more on writing the perfect CV here.

To start your job search click here