If you thought you could leave a mark only in the physical world, prepare to be surprised. The online world also registers your fingerprints, more commonly known as digital fingerprints.
What is it and how do they affect you, especially when looking for a job: let’s discuss it.
Whether or not you are in the digital generation, you should use online platforms for entertainment, learning, job search, etc. With this digital use, you leave a trace of every action you take. A lot of people can follow this lead, and potential employers are one of them.
Interestingly, when screening candidates, recruiters use a series of actions before selecting candidates. These actions include tracking the digital footprints of potential employees across different platforms as well as their daily interactions and activities.
Why do recruiters use digital fingerprints?
One of the essential aspects of any recruiting process is finding a candidate who will fit the culture of your company. In order for this person to be successful, they must produce great work and get along with their colleagues and clients, which ultimately generates income.
The power of technology (like candidate search via their digital fingerprints) helps recruiters understand the real person behind the name. This gives them a better idea of how you would fit into the company culture, your interests, and whether or not your personality will match customer needs.
How do employers use your digital fingerprints?
Your digital footprint is the result of everything you willingly share online. We hear all YouTube videos, vlogs, blog entries, posts, or images shared on various sites. Remember, once he’s there, he’s there forever.
You may not be fully aware of it, but your digital fingerprint can reveal a lot of information about your personality (even your marital status). This includes age, religion, political opinion, race, and even interests. And, in many cases, these assumptions are made automatically. A passive digital fingerprint concerns details that you do not voluntarily provide. This is how the Internet works.
How to carry out a digital audit for a future employer?
If you want to be hired by the best employers in your industry, you need to check your digital footprint primarily in two places: search engines and social media platforms.
On search engines
The first step in performing a personal digital audit is to use search engines. Repeat this process with different search engines. Start your list of searches by doing one for the full name and any short names or nicknames you may have used.
It is recommended that you perform this exercise on a different IP address than the one you normally use. The reason lies in the search engine algorithms which provide results based on personalized search bias. It just implies that your search history affects what you see on your screen, and it’s not always the same thing someone else will find.
Nicknames alone won’t help you find what you need. Try entering your email addresses and see where they will take you.
On social media
Besides the search engine, you also need to dig deeper into your social media profiles.
Even if you think employers won’t see what you post, they will. So go back and take a look at your profile on all those social media sites you have, whether you’re active or not. You might find embarrassing posts or pictures or inappropriate comments from a long time ago when no one cared. So take the time to clean up social networks profiles!
How to use auditing to refine your digital footprint for employers?
You’ve done all of this research that you should, and now you should know what to do about it.
Maintaining a professional online presence is essential when applying for jobs in today’s competitive job market. The easiest way to make your social media content look more professional is to remove any images or posts that show you in a light other than the best. Ask people who have linked their profile to yours to remove these links. Increase privacy settings so that only your friends can see what you post.
Tips for creating a positive digital footprint
- Use your real name. Hiding behind a false identity causes a negative impression on the recruiter.
- Be aware of what you are sharing and how potential employers would perceive it. Be respectful of others and avoid sharing controversial or questionable opinions. If you have nothing good to say, the best decision is to compress it.
- Use a VPN service, which will encrypt information about your online activities. Fewer online entities will be able to perform IP-based tracking. This will make your digital journey much more private and you will minimize the passive digital footprint.
- If you need an active online presence, take the time to post valuable content. Plus, you need to be consistent with uploads to give recruiters enough material. However, always think twice before posting!