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Managing Your Digital Footprint

January 05, 2011 8:30 AM | Anonymous

Managing Your Digital Footprint

Applying for a new advertising or marketing job? You’ll boost your chances of landing an interview by polishing your online presence. Nearly three-quarters of advertising and marketing executives surveyed by The Creative Group said they typically do a web search using job applicants’ names. Another 59 percent review candidates’ LinkedIn profiles, 44 percent check Facebook, 35 percent look for blog postings and 23 percent search for a presence on Twitter.

Following are tactics to help ensure your digital footprint is a help – not a hindrance – to your career prospects.

Find out what the Web says about you. As many people have learned, the Internet can be an unforgiving place with a long memory. Conduct a thorough self-search using multiple search engines to find out what you’re up against. If you discover embarrassing digital debris (mean message-board posts or unflattering college party pictures, for example), do your best to scrub it clean. Delete the comments, untag the photos or ask the person who posted the questionable content (or the website administrator) to take it down.

Demonstrate good judgment. Don’t be your own worst online enemy. From over-sharing on Facebook to tweeting petty grievances about the job hunting process, people continue to damage their credibility with ill-advised musings. Use common sense and privacy settings to protect your image. Before carelessly clicking away, think about how the words or images you’re about to publish might be perceived by current or prospective employers.

Create employer-friendly profiles. Pay as close attention to crafting your online profiles as you do your resume. Your profile on LinkedIn and other professional networking sites should be complete, crystal clear and concise. Highlight the most compelling elements of your skills and experience to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Help prospective employers find you by writing strategically and integrating relevant key words. For instance, if you’re a copywriter for a sporting goods store, you’ll want to weave terms such as “write,” “edit” and “sports” into your online bios. Moreover, proofread diligently for grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

Write what you know. Rather than offering updates about the leftover lasagna you ate for lunch, use online platforms to position yourself as a subject matter expert. Keep track of advertising and marketing trends in your area of specialization and frequently offer thoughtful advice or commentary on industry forums, social media sites or your blog. Also, keep your friends and followers abreast of the latest news by posting links to interesting advertising-related stories.

Manage your brand. Advertising and marketing professionals help companies build brand awareness. But is your own brand image consistent and cohesive? Make sure that all of your job search materials have unified look and feel, including online content. Consider creating a Twitter background with design elements that appear on your resume, business cards and website. It’s also wise to personalize your social media URLs for easy bookmarking. As an example, you can find The Creative Group at facebook.com/thecreativegroup and twitter.com/creativegroup.


The Creative Group is a specialized staffing service placing advertising, marketing, creative and web professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at creativegroup.com. Follow TCG on Facebook and Twitter.
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