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, Amazon.com 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 your.ca, .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.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…