It seems cliche, and like complete common sense, but in this current economy it’s never been more true, you’ve got to sell yourself. When there are a hundred qualified candidates all competing for the same postion an employer is going to look for every reason to either toss that resume in to the shredder, or to follow up on your application. Your online footprint could very well be the deciding factor in whether or not you’re seen as a highly regarded choice. There are stories all throughout the media of people who didn’t get jobs because of something stupid online. This doesn’t just apply to your more white collar lines of work; even things considered as “wage slave” types of work are seeing fierce competition for a limited number of available positions. Employers are using every resource at their finger tips to help aid them in their decesion.
You need to make sure that you cultivate the right online experience. Just as you dress appropriately for an in-person job interview, you have to make sure that your online identity says what you want it to say about you — use it to hi-light those qualities that make you someone valuable to potential employers or clients. Your digital first impression is every bit as valuable as the one you make face-to-face. It might seem silly still to some people that this is true, but as we’ve entered the world where even peoples grandmothers are avid users of social media sites, it’s the reality we now have to face. Prepare yourself for it before it’s too late.
As for me I’ll continue to look for just the right domain to put up an online resume. I like owning this site, I’ve had it for ages and will continue to run it and blog here, but I think it’s about time I followed my own advice and began cultivating the online identity I want people out there in the working world to see. Sure, maybe now this site will pop up a bit more when people run a search on my name, but I do try to keep things here civil, and try to represent myself, my skills, and my beliefs in the best light possible.
Remember, the Internet is not as anonymous as you think, and it’s becoming less so every day. If there are things you don’t want people to know or to see, then your safest course of action is to not put them online at all.