3 ways a good digital presence can get you a job

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First off, what is digital presence? A few years back, this term was something that applied only to businesses or corporate entities. It involved having a website and advertising online. Nowadays, with the rise of various channels, apps and social media, it now extends to individuals and how they conduct themselves online.

Digital presence means your online reputation. It takes into account your “digital footprint” (your activities on the Internet) which includes:

  • Your profile and activities on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites.
  • Your blog posts, comments on forums, or things that you “like” on Facebook or Twitter, as well as the links that you share.
  • Anything written about you.
  • Photographs or videos that you or someone else posted.

All of these elements contribute to creating your personal brand.

Why do you need to have a digital presence?

Employers conduct online research on prospective employees before hiring. It can be a red flag when an applicant doesn’t have digital presence in this day and age. Employers can take it to mean that the person is technology-averse, not skilled digitally, or worse – that they are hiding something. With the pervasive use of digital technology in the workplace, an applicant may not be deemed a good fit if they do not like computers and online tools.

There are also recruiters and headhunters on social media. Many search constantly through hundreds of LinkedIn profiles for possible recruits. You might be missing out on great career opportunities if you don’t have a digital presence.

How can a good digital presence help your career?

  1. It can help establish your credibility

    This is important especially for experienced professionals who are starting from scratch in Canada. It’s another way to show your expertise in your field as your start building your Canadian experience. How do you do it? One way is to publish and curate content. You can write a blog, post tips and links to professional literature, or post on professional forums. Remember to make sure that you’re sharing well-researched, substantial and accurate information.

    Having proper netiquette is an important part of establishing credibility. Always engage in discussions or contribute your knowledge and opinions respectfully. Don’t practise flaming (hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users involving the use of profanity) or trolling (posting inflammatory, off-topic messages to incite anger). How you conduct yourself online is a preview of how you are in person.

  2. Leads to networking and building professional relationships

    Your virtual connections can become real-life connections in the professional world. You can network with others by joining LinkedIn or Facebook groups and “following” people, organizations or companies in your field on Twitter. Being active in online groups can also keep you updated about job openings, job fairs, seminars and other developments in your field.

    Sustain your connections by staying involved. Share helpful content, answer questions, and retweet or re-post relevant information to share to your colleagues or help promote their events or causes. Networking online is also a good way to find opportunities for informational interviews.

  3. It can be the deciding factor that gets you hired

    It’s hard to convey your passion and commitment (and other abstract qualities) in your resume. Your digital presence can be the extension that showcases your skills, personality and beliefs better. It can be the factor that helps the employer decide that you’re the right fit for the organization.

Moving forward

Experts say that digital presence will replace the resume in 10 years. If you haven’t ventured online yet, it’s not too late to start. Creating a LinkedIn profile or signing up for Facebook only takes minutes. What you need to take time on is building a good image which comes with posting responsibly and practicing proper netiquette.
Article updated January 31, 2022.
Sources: 5 reasons why your online presence will replace your resume in 10 years, Dan Schawbel, Forbes; and Managing yourself: What’s your personal social media strategy? Soumitra Dutta, Harvard Business Review.

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