When to Make a Digital Footprint
May 08, 2014
It may seem that children are getting online profiles too young these days. Most are getting smart phones sooner than starting high school, but is the idea of being online all bad? How important is it going to be for their careers in a world run by the Internet? I recently read somewhere how important it is for younger people to start creating a “digital footprint” that will follow them in a positive manner all through their professional lives.
It is being suggested that students should establish their online profiles as early as high school in order to help them professionally later. As they achieve honors at school or begin to gain experience at their first jobs, they can share their growth in such places as Facebook, where they can track job history in their profile or LinkedIn, a growing social media site for connecting with business affiliations. This generation is going to be one of the first to experience a job hunt that happens primarily online, and the sooner they can prepare for it, the better.
Everyone learns how it is important to be careful about posting things in online profiles that may negatively reflect his/her behavior. It is becoming more important to self-edit when posting photos and know your options in personal status updates to prevent them from having an affect your professional agenda. Employers are spending more time following their employees on social media sites, and it is always important to remember that they may see whatever you are posting.
However, making sure that they don’t see anything that could either embarrass you or diminish your professionalism is only one side of the coin. Creating online profiles that reflect who you are and what you mean to the industry that you want to pursue professionally is essential in a challenging job market. Showing employers, or potential employers, that you are aware of what is happening in their company and industry can put you a step above the rest. Social media is also a great way to connect with other people in your industry and share ideas that may revolutionize something you are working toward. Making that great first impression through an impressive online presence can open more doors than simply having nothing.