Your Digital Footprint in the Job Search

Just as technology enables you to research employers easily, hiring managers can use the Web to learn about you — and your digital footprint likely tells them more than you know. Thanks to personal websites, blogs and social networks, hiring managers can dig up a wealth of information with just a few mouse clicks.

Your digital footprint: best practices

Here's how to ensure your digital footprint doesn't damage your job prospects:

  • Do a thorough self–search. The first step in managing your digital footprint is becoming aware of what you are up against. Run searches for information about you that is available for potential employers to see.
  • Try to take action. If you find information that you fear will undermine your professional credibility, try to have the content removed. Also remove tags from photos of you.
  • Accept that you can't get rid of everything. In cases where damaging references appear to be permanent online fixtures, be ready to discuss the topic in a job interview. While your online transgressions might not come up, it helps to be prepared to address your digital footprint's effect on your ability to perform the job well.
  • Don't be your own worst enemy. Remove questionable content you have posted on your own personal websites. Familiarize yourself with the privacy settings associated with each social network you use. If you maintain a website or blog, closely review every piece of information you've presented about yourself to make sure your digital footprint is as clean as possible.