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, digital presence was something that applied only to businesses or corporate entities. It mainly meant having a website and advertising online. Nowadays, with the rise of many online channels and social media, the term now also extends to individuals and how they conduct themselves online.

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

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

Why do you need to have a digital presence?

Most employers conduct research on prospective employees. When they search online, HR experts find it suspicious when an applicant doesn’t have digital presence. It may be a sign that the person is a technophobe, or worse, that he or she is hiding something. With the pervasive use of technology in the workplace, an applicant may not be deemed a good fit if he or she does not like computers and online tools.

Also, many headhunters constantly search through hundreds of LinkedIn profiles for possible recruits for various fields. If you don’t have a digital presence, you may be missing out on great career opportunities.

How can a good digital presence help your career?

  1. Establishing authority
    Building a good digital presence is important especially for experienced professionals who are starting from scratch in their careers in Canada. It could be an effective way of displaying expertise in your field while you are still trying to build your Canadian experience. How do you do it? One way is by publishing and curating content. You can write a blog, post tips and links to professional literature, or post on professional forums.

    Just like in real life, building a credible reputation requires sharing smart, thoughtful, respectful, and accurate information. Never engage in flaming (hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users involving the use of profanity) or trolling (posting inflammatory, off-topic messages to incite anger).

  2. Networking/building relationships
    Your virtual connections can become real-life connections in the professional world. You can network with others by having a LinkedIn profile, joining Facebook groups, and “following” people, organizations or companies in your field on Twitter. Being active online also keeps you informed about job openings, job fairs, and seminars that can help you stay up to date with developments in your field.

    Sustain your connections by keeping constantly involved. You can share helpful content, answer questions, and retweet or re-post relevant information to share to your colleagues or help promote their events or causes.

  3. Deciding factor
    It can be hard to convey your passion and commitment (and many other abstract qualities besides) in your resume. Having an active digital presence that shows your involvement in your field or commitment to relevant causes can be the deciding factor that gets you the job. Employers will be able to see this from a carefully crafted and detailed profile on LinkedIn, a well-written blog post, or from Tweets or Facebook posts that provide links to helpful resources, among others.

Moving forward

Experts say that digital presence will replace the resume in 10 years (5 reasons why your online presence will replace your resume in 10 years, Dan Schawbel, Forbes Magazine). So if you haven’t ventured online, 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 online image which comes with posting responsibly and practicing proper netiquette.

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Community Resources

Learn more about Professional (or personal) Learning Networks and how to build yours from the article What’s a PLN and why do you need it?

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