Job searching in the digital age

Improving your Web presence will help your job search. Credit: Colourbox
Improving your Web presence will help your job search.
Credit: Colourbox

When Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook make your digital footprints visible to recruiters and selection committees, you can assume your online presence is being searched, creeped and crawled on a regular basis.

It sounds creepy, but those digital traces that we leave behind in social status updates, Instagram photoshares, blog comments, and eBay reviews, are easy for someone to recover with a little digital sleuthing.

Altogether this “small data” cumulates in a rather random online story about you — but is it accurate?

To tell a different story about yourself, one more relevant than that which Google’s algorithm compiles, you’ll need to be proactive. Consider taking the following steps to add a new and more meaningful, useful and current story about yourself for recruiters, event planners, headhunters, advisory boards, talent scouts, award and search committees to discover:

Write a different story

Launch that blog you’ve always thought about. Don’t know how to write code? Blogger (free and owned by Google), Tumblr and WordPress (also both free) make it easy with professional design templates, tech support walk-throughs and huge communities of users to turn to for advice and inspiration. Use your blog as a platform, mixing professional and personal (but always work-safe) content to tell a story about your lifestyle, workstyle and values — including the importance of work-life balance.

Make it personal

Purchase your vanity domain. In fact, purchase all of them. Protect your good name by grabbing your dot.coms, then pick up, .net, even your .guru (yes, this is available soon). Name often misspelled? Purchase that one too. Have a super popular name and someone else has already registered it? No problem. Consider branding yourself with a signature (even trademarked) title (e.g., LindaLifeCoaching, DesignByDave, FredFixIt), your city (MikeWardTO), a professional suffix (DrTim, ProfessoryGary) or certification (JimChenCFA). Looking for a graduation present for someone in your family? Gift them their domain names.

There’s one more reason to flex your digital creativity and mark your territory online. Taking charge and telling your story, documenting your special projects and passions, illustrating your goals and aspirations — these are all a total confidence boost. Actively maintain your online presence and the bonus is you’ll be reminded of just how far you’ve traveled on your personal career journey.

Fully employed or not, and especially if you work in a field currently experiencing a skilled labor shortage or skills gap, you just may be the passive “star talent” candidate a recruiter is searching high and low for today, online. As employers follow your digital footprints —  and they will — be sure you’re one step ahead with an online story you’re proud of.

Show, don’t tell

Communicate your story visually. The truism that great images speak a thousand words has never been more relevant that today, with the rise of Instagram, Pinterest and Vine. The social Web loves photos. Take advantage of that by visually documenting your personal style, your city, professional accomplishments, volunteering and community engagement. Spread a little joy with awesome images and in the process you’ll engage and inspire others with a story of how you see the world.



NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…


Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…


Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…


Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…


Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.


Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.


Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.


Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?


Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.


Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.


3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.


NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top


These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…


When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…


10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…


How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…