Get your job through social media

The Huffington Post recently reported how valuable social networks are in helping users gaining employment.

Why not use online social networking and your digital footprint to help get your next job? Put your best achievements out there. Here’s what Guy Kawasaki suggested to high school seniors and job seekers during CXOtalk:

“Your Facebook page should show you rebuilding a church in Guatemala; it should show you winning the award for the best robotics project; on the award podium as the women’s lacrosse team captain. So when the sly admissions officer or HR person does their Google research, they come away saying, ‘Wow, this person is a saint! We need to hire her.”

We need to remember just how powerful our digital footprint can be in both good and bad ways. Read the whole article here.

Five places to look for your digital footprint

Whether we actually contribute to it or not, most of us now have a digital footprint. Companies that we deal with (such as telcos) retain our data for years. This post from Mashable demonstrates how to find your digital footprint and how to deal with what is out there…

Shrinking your digital footprint requires a lot of diligence, but if you’d like to get started then it helps to know which companies are hoarding your data and how long they intend to hold onto it.

Read the article here.

Another high profile social media faux pas

Yet again another well known Australian has made a mess of their standing in the community via social media.

Australian cricketer David Warner took to Twitter to argue with journalists over the weekend. The argument wasn’t the issue so much, but how Warner worded his responses. Swearing and put downs were the order of the day from someone who represents his country and was sure to have had social media lessons from Cricket Australia.

Interestingly, as of Monday 20 May, the tweets had not been deleted. Warner is set to be sanctioned by Cricket Australia.

Archiving the digital world

Recently the British Library announced an ambitious project – to collect and archive the internet. The Guardian newspaper (UK) explains:

six major libraries will be able to collect, preserve and provide long term access to internet based information, including blogs, e-books and even the entire UK web domain. An estimated 1bn pages a year will be available to researchers through the new archive.

This means that everything published on the web will be preserved pretty much forever. And although only archiving UK sites at present, perhaps the National Library of Australia and other national libraries will follow suit.

Of course, the implications of this are enormous. A poor digital footprint will definitely follow us around now.

The perils of our past

Recently Simon Finch published a piece on Digital citizenship and the perils of our past. You may have heard of Paris Brown, who was appointed as the first Youth Crime Commissioner in the UK. Not long after her appointment, Paris was attacked for her less than salubrious tweets and was eventually forced to stand down from her new role.

It’s a healthy reminder that our digital footprint will follow us around for our entire lives and affect many aspects of our lives. It’s up to us to ensure that our digital footprint is a good one that adds to our relationships and work, rather than detract from them. We can use social media to build ourselves a culture of trust and respect. Or not.

The internet never forgets

In March, The Age published an article on how any minor crime or perceived misdemeanor, once reported online, can follow us around forever:

Back in 2010, the newsdesk at The Age received a desperate plea from a man who wanted to be forgotten. Let’s call him Alan. A young and foolish businessman, he was arrested 10 years ago at Melbourne airport when a baggage check found cocaine and another banned drug.

The Age published a simple, factual story in the paper and online, reporting his arrest, his contrition and his sentence – a good-behaviour bond without conviction. Alan promised the magistrate he would mend his ways.  But Google never forgets. Today, if you Google Alan’s real name, his past is exposed at the top of the search results: a link to The Age‘s report with a damning headline.

”This story still haunts him,” a close friend and colleague of Alan tells The Age. He is now ”a sober man who has learnt from his mistakes” trying to get back into his former industry. But everyone Googles potential employees these days. ”It has been eight years,” the friend said in an email. ”Let’s try and give him a shot …rather than have some headline cut down his chances.”

The article goes on to say that it is not in the interests of behemoths like Google and Facebook to remove information as this is where they make money. There is also an interesting debate about our privacy vs the right to know. Read the whole article here.

Living with your ‘backlist’ forever

Entrepreneur Seth Godin has written an excellent post on how we all have to live with what we publish on the internet – forever. He explains:

Today, of course, the work you put on the internet has a good chance of staying there for a very long time. The internet doesn’t easily forget.

That TED talk, then is going to be around for your grandchildren to see. The review of your new restaurant, or the generous connection you made on a social network–they’re going to last.

I almost hired someone a few years ago–until I googled her and discovered that the first two matches were pictures of her drinking beer from a funnel, and her listed hobby was, “binge drinking.” Backlist!

You’re going to become a lot more aware of the posterity of the work you do. It’s all on tape, all left behind. Just as you’re less likely to litter in your own backyard, the person aware of his backlist becomes more careful and civic minded.

You may have heard of a digital footprint. This is pretty much what Godin calls our ‘backlist’. What we create online is going to be around for a long time and we need to make sure we’re proud of it. Read Godin’s whole (short) post here.