Your Digital Footprint Shri Footring (JISC) and Richard Goodwin (JGA) #TeamForum 8 November 2013
Your Digital Footprint
Managing Your Online Profile
What is your digital footprint?
Everything on the
internet that is
What is Social Media?
Any online location where you share information about YOU: your
activities, your attitudes, your achievements, your life or things you
think will interest others.
Which of the following are you using? Any others?
What are the implications for you
and your organisation?
Use of social media can be both personal and professional at the same time
– a blurring of traditional boundaries
"[for job seekers, regarding CVs]...there's a
continuum from paper docs, online links to virtual
profile. But must manage social media presence!“
Joe Billington, Director, National Careers Service
2013, via Twitter.
Reinforced in his Breakfast Television and BBC
Why Are We Interested
in Social Media?
Social Media is increasingly being used by universities,
recruitment agencies and companies to validate CVs and to get
a fuller picture of applicants’ lives.
Is what you claim on your CV true?
Are you a good cultural fit?
Will you prove to be an asset to the organisation?
Will you be an embarrassment?
Does this really happen in practice?
Paris Brown “Twitter resignation” in Kent http://ow.ly/k7I1d
Uni offer withdrawn due to drunken FB photos http://ow.ly/kbmfz
Frequent reports of employers unhappy with online comments
“Almost one in five technology industry executives say that a
candidate’s social media profile has caused them not to hire that
40% of the survey respondents from technology companies
review job candidate’s profiles on social media sites.
A Professional Business
Social media profiling is now formally embedded in recruitment
“Now technology job site Dice aims to leverage that information
into the ultimate recruiting tool... the tool combs through a
candidate's online social media presence in order to generate a
comprehensive, and more personal, profile of the person a
company is considering hiring… the service will scour up to 50
different social networks” http://ow.ly/k7HRz
First google yourself, then have a think about other online
places where you leave information which can be seen by
Reasons to Take Care
Beware of illegal file sharing
and if you contribute to nonmainstream sites such as
pornography then make sure
there are no clues about your
If you are really unlucky
then your night out will
revisit you! http://ow.ly/k7HMX
What Can I Do?
Once information is exposed it can never be completely
disappeared but don’t worry, not only is the situation
retrievable but you can use social media to make a positive
contribution towards your job hunt. What you need is a plan
1. What MESSAGES you want to give potential employers.
2. What content do you want potential employers NOT to see?
3. What content do you want potential employers DEFINITELY
Identify those social media over which you can control privacy.
On FB for example use the padlock icon which enables you to
choose to whom (to some extent) your information is exposed.
Make a universal change to restrict access to only
Don’t forget that any comments you post on
friends’ walls or resources are outside your control
and may be visible for everyone to see. Photos you
hide from your timeline may still be seen via the
Facebook search engine so use the tool to review
what you have hidden and don’t forget comments
you may have posted in groups or on
Subtle Examples Of Bad
Apart from the plain embarrassing, of what should you be careful?
• Typos – don’t write rubbish. Text speak in the appropriate places
(eg Twitter) but don’t mix up the formal and informal.
• Social Media Etiquette – don’t swear, write in caps or otherwise
break with social media etiquette.
• Incomplete Profile – bother. If it is worth being on a social media
then do it well, complete your profile, include a photo of yourself.
Remember to make it a photo that you don’t mind an employer
seeing. Imagine that your grandmother is checking you out, what
would she think?
• Don’t neglect, delete – if a social media doesn’t add value to your
life then delete your profile, otherwise it looks like you can’t be
And Now The Good Stuff
Social media can be an enormous asset to your job search.
•What do you want your social media profile to say? How to
positively reinforce the messages you want to put over?
•Make public information about your making things happen. Not only
does it look good to the employer but may provide a useful
conversation starter in the interview
•Can you evidence your previous experience? If you want to work
with animals then comment on or write an animal related blog or
upload videos to YouTube of yourself working with animals – find
ways to support your case, employers want the hire to have
minimum risk so let them feel they know you.
•Contribute to Wikipedia?
•Cross link between profiles, for instance link from YouTube to your
blog and LinkedIn profile to manage what potential employers see
More Good Stuff
Social Media tips to boost your job search – ways to boost your
profiles for employers
• A photo of you accepting an award – you look like a winner!
• A photo of you doing volunteer work – you look generous
• A photo of you crossing the finish line of a 10k race – you look
• A photo of you with colleagues – you look like you play well with
• Logos of brand name former employers
• Links to articles and other web pages relevant to your chosen
industry or profession
• Links to videos showing you speaking to a group
• News about interesting projects you’re working on
• Short blurbs about books or films you’re reading
• Make a list of companies you might want to work for and “like”
Make Your Presence Felt
Think what messages are you trying to get across and how
you can use social media to positively reinforce them.
What you say is important, but just as important is how you
say it. Here are some tips:
Make your presence felt – if it is worth being on social media
then it is worth using it well.
Develop connections on LinkedIn or work to generate interest
in your YouTube video by using other appropriate places to
encourage people to view it.
Don’t be too pushy (unless you are pitching for a job in sales)
but make sure that potential employers know that you
contribute actively and are not a lurker.
Show Your Understanding
Display your knowledge of social media – a lot of
organisations positively value social media
Approach your social media presence
professionally and have some accounts where
you stick to themes relating to your chosen job
search, even if it is just retweeting (or sharing)
interesting newspaper articles. Not everyone with
will have read them first time round.
It is impressive if you can tell the employer you
have a lot of followers for an account, especially
if it relates to your chosen line of work.
Above all, whatever the subject, approach your
non-private chosen media professionally, for
example using hash tags for Twitter and update
regularly but don’t spam.
Are You Getting It Right?
One of the best things about social media is that there are plenty of
free ways to measure success
Facebook Friends – try to strike a balance, don’t have too
few or too many, perhaps somewhere between 50 and
150 makes you look popular whilst not appearing
desperate. A manageable number of friends make it is
less likely that private information will leak
LinkedIn connections and Twitter Followers – have as
many as possible but they need to be relevant.
Recently a candidate failed to get a job because the
employer was unimpressed by the identity of their Twitter
Effective use of Twitter
For example: https://twitter.com/shrifootring/lists/wbl
Examples: #apprentices #edtech #edchat
Ways to Check Up
Quality and quantity – use Klout or other online calculators
to measure your social media influence, if you have a good
score then why not include it and other information about
you social media presence in your CV? It shows initiative, an
ability to use technology and that you actively contribute to
Reputation Services – there are plenty of free services which
measure aspects of your reputation Newsle keeps an eye on
your contacts’ social media activity so you can compare your
progress or impress a potential employer by knowing about
their recent activity.
Google – one of the best ways to find out what other people
can easily see about you!
Show Your Understanding
Display your knowledge of social media – a lot of organisations
positively value social media awareness.
Approach your social media presence professionally and have some
accounts where you stick to themes relating to your chosen
profession. Even if it is just retweeting newspaper articles about
your areas of interest. Not everyone with an interest will have read
them first time round. Similarly if you are looking for an office based
role then share interesting information on LinkedIn.
It is very impressive if you can tell the employer you have a lot of
followers for a Twitter account especially if it relates to your chosen
line of work.
Identify the social media in which you appear
Decide the messages you want to give to potential employers
Add appropriate access controls
Delete inappropriate material
Generate and promote positive material
Check whether aggregators are useful for you
Keep reviewing/monitoring your presence
Measure your influence
Why not add social media activities to your CV?
If you want to find out more then check out how Harvard University
recommend their academics manage their search and social media