Human Resources

What is Your Digital Footprint and How Can It Affect Your Career?

Feb 29, 2020

Ever since the explosion of social media, one pun stuck around: your tweets will live forever! While the person who coined this expression probably wasn’t thinking of communicating it as a threat, there is a certain degree of warning in it. We live in an era where everyone is represented everywhere at the same time. Our virtual selves have taken over our physical existence and became a source of information where our friends, colleagues, and even strangers get information about us. One area that got particularly affected by these new social and communication constructs is the recruitment industry.

One’s digital footprint consists of all the data that can be summarized online about a person. When talking about it, we usually refer to the ‘footprint’ in its most basic sense like all the photos we posted on Instagram, every opinion we blasted through Twitter, the status update we put on Facebook. Our digital footprint is much wider than this. In its extended form, a digital footprint can include information about your health, purchasing decisions, web search and browsing, etc. Only the first is publicly available and visible (in most cases).

To quickly analyze your digital footprint, just put your name into Google and see what comes up.

The dynamics have shifted

At all times, you are one Google search away for your potential employers. Whenever you enter the talks with a potential employer, not only is your CV in the game but everything that can exist and can be linked to you online. And the recruiters do use it. This practice is called social recruiting and it is becoming a key component of recruitment processes.

Forbes claims that up to 93% of employers do research candidates they’re in talks with during the screening process. Most of them (96%) use LinkedIn as a go-to source for information. In similar research, in 57% of the cases, headhunters disregarded a candidate based on their digital presence on social media and other outlets.

If you’re thinking that not being there solves the issue of you being misjudged based on your tweet from 2016, you’re wrong. Potential candidates with no online presence raise flags, automatically make people cautious when creating assumptions about who and how capable they are.

How to make sure that your digital footprint is working for you

First impressions are powerful! Once the initial introduction is made, recruiters will rarely go back for the follow-up opinion.

When it comes to managing your online presence and building a positive online reputation, authenticity and proactivity come forward as the biggest point-getters in the recruiter’s mind. By creating authentic content or resharing carefully curated posts, you are presenting yourself as a professional in your area of business, an expert who nurtures their proactivity through constant hunger to learn more, improve, and share their knowledge.

You further improve your presence and activity by being mindful of where you’re seen. With a variety of channels available, you should pick the ones with the biggest value return per the number of hours invested. As always, there are exceptions to rules but I will leave those out for now.

Third, and perhaps the most important step of managing your digital persona, is to never skip presence on specialized niche places that feature the professionals from ‘your corner’ and are created for them specifically. One such place is Pandy AI, a community that my company, Pradov, developed for professionals from the private banking and wealth management industry.

Smart platforms of tomorrow

During the inception phase of Pandy AI, my team and I had the idea of building an exclusive place for private bankers, one that would allow them to create the most relevant online persona for their profession, and one which they could effectively and proudly point and present to the decision makers of world’s most prestigious institutions.

Unlike other platforms, we made Pandy AI different in two key aspects:

  • The new community is just a vessel that connects you with parties of interest. It doesn’t take ownership of any information you upload and leaves data management to you exclusively.
  • It uses the reverse-mechanics principle that delivers the matched propositions directly to your inbox without you having to expose your digital persona to third parties or platforms.

An approach like this does not only increase talent’s career prospects, but gives them more options to manage their online replicas.

* Pradov – A Swiss executive boutique recruitment firm, specialised in private banking and wealth management sector the last 25 years. We crafted the first-ever executive AI recruiter, called Pandy AI.