“Digital Footprint” is the trail of data a person creates on the Internet. This includes your social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like. You are also identified by photographs posted by either you or someone else and anything you have written or written about you like blogs, articles, comments, and tags. These footprints reflect your online activities. It marks your identity so the internet can always trace your activity to you.
Value of Digital Footprints
Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership at the International Center for Leadership in Education (Texas), said, “Your digital footprint paints a portrait of you as an educator, leader, school, or district. Make sure it conveys your true values and work.”
There are two types of digital footprints. One is passive where the data gathered was without the owner’s knowledge. The second type is the active footprint. The owner has complete knowledge of data shared on social media. In posting digital content, take note of the following:
- Keep the information professional.
- Focus on your work only.
- Think well before posting.
- Practice consistency.
- Don’t hesitate to engage.
Social Media Impacts Image
Social media remains the primary mode of sharing content online. Ema Linaker of Entrepreneur.com says, “Each time we add something about ourselves on the internet, we enlarge our own digital footprint. Whenever we mention someone else, we enlarge their digital footprint.” Building a consistent Executive Presence in both the real and virtual world is crucial to the job seeking process. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn is a search tool used by headhunters. They are always looking at you and creating an impression of you based on your online presence. If you have not set up a LinkedIn account, it’s time to create one today.
If you are not careful, your digital footprint can be disadvantageous. But it helps provide a positive first impression if done the right way. Your digital footprint or powerful online presence can be a “career asset” in the job marketplace.
Aside from reviewing hundreds of resumes, employers conduct web-based searches of applicants. When hiring managers are impressed by the online data, they are more likely to reach out to these applicants. But the “lack of activity” can turn off employers. A survey conducted by the REACH Employment Services revealed that almost 50% of hiring managers look into an applicant’s social media presence during an interview. About 31% rejected candidates because of a questionable online persona.
Digital Footprint and Executive Presence
Digital Footprint is an integral element of Executive Presence. Hiring managers admit to hiring and rejecting possible candidates by looking at the digital portfolio. Although a personal impactful presence is important, having a positive online presence has bearing as well. Your online profile must be consistent with your personal image and brand. How do you want your network to perceive you? Does your online profile project the credibility, integrity, and authenticity? Use the Internet to your advantage. Create an impactful online presence.
You can improve your online presence by building your network. Find people in your loop who share the same hobbies and interests. Follow and connect with online influencers in your profession or field of expertise. Engage them regularly by commenting on their social media posts or by tagging them. Remember, you are expanding your digital footprint when you do this.
Keep track of the latest trends or updates in your field. Learn and apply the best practices you find online. Be more open to your interests and passions online and these interests will keep coming up on your social media newsfeed.
If you have not created an impactful online presence, now is the time to do it. Consult with an Image Strategist to help you build an online portfolio that promotes you and your brand. Radiance Image Consultancy offers training programs which include Executive Presence and Leadership Branding, The Impact of First Impressions, Work Ethics and Professionalism, and Minimalist Beauty Queen. Get in touch with Radiance Image for your corporate programs, keynote talks, and short workshops.
Be extraordinary, inside and out.