Looking for a new job is rarely easy, but it's something most people can make much easier with a little bit of creativity. While crafting a high quality resume is of supreme importance to your future job prospects, your digital footprint is another aspect that you'll want to work on.
Think of your digital footprint as the collection of all your online activities put together – the sum of your combined online activities. You should expect potential employers to search for your name on Google, and have a pretty good idea of what they will find in the search results.
If your resume shows employment history gaps, you can expect potential employers to look through your social media timeline to see what you were up to during that time.
Did you take a year off to travel the world? Your experiences can actually help demonstrate cultural attentiveness and the ability to communicate if you frame them correctly.
What matters most is being able to explain these periods of time in a way that potential employers can understand in order to learn more about you. However, your resume is not the best document for a long story, and social media only offers time-stamped content – you are not going to go back and edit five years of Facebook posts.
For example, if a salesperson stopped using their selling skills for a year potential employers would question whether or not they still had the skills to win deals. If that salesperson took the time off to work on his game then they would need to demonstrate that to employers before being hired.
If you start a blog with a URL that matches your name and begin writing in it, you can be pretty sure that it will rank well for people specifically searching your name on Google. You can use this to write about your experiences without having to worry about the necessities of formal documentation – you can write it in your way.
Salespeople like DrivingSales.com’s Jared Hamilton have created their own blogs where they talk about how proper sales and customer service can impact car dealers’ businesses in significant ways. This has led thousands of car dealers to follow Jared and his blog for advice which puts him in an influential role within the car dealer community.
One of the first things that employers will look for are signs of inconsistency on the social media platforms you're connected to. Certainly, your LinkedIn profile is the paragon of professionalism, but anyone who wants to know the real you will check Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to learn more.
Notwithstanding extreme cases, there is little reason to panic and delete years of archived social media history. Most likely, you can target the way social media represents your lifestyle and personality simply by curating what you share moving forward.
Oyster Connect suggests actively using social media – Twitter, in particular – to demonstrate an active interest in the field that you are hunting for a job in. You may find opportunities to build new professional connections simply by leveraging hashtags.
This is similar to the way well-known brands use brand ambassadors to generate interest within specific demographic niches. Professional poker players land jobs as sponsored players or brand ambassadors by winning at the table and/or having a huge digital footprint. Online casino brands pay these players to represent them at tournaments and talk about the brand sponsoring them to large digital audiences. In turn those brands receive tons of new customers.
Take Anne Duke, for instance, who leverages her status as an influencer within the poker community to fight stereotypes and encourage other female poker players. A brand ambassador's solid, active social media presence helps them land new jobs with ease.
By starting one specifically for potential employers to look through, you can create a narrative that focuses on all of the most important aspects of your life in a way that your employers can relate to. If done right, anyone interested enough in hiring you to skim the blog will be hooked after they read the content.