Your Digital Footprint Could Stop You From Getting Hired


Your <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Digital">Digital</a> Footprint Could Stop You From <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with getting">Getting</a> Hired

You know how say the inter­net is for­ev­er? Well, recent­ly a cou­ple of Tik­Tok­ers deliv­ered a very viral les­son about just how easy it is for to track down your dig­i­tal foot­print.

It all start­ed with 17-year-old Jay­den (@shoomew) post­ed a shar­ing their shock and aston­ish­ment after they lost out on a job over things they’d post­ed on social media. They wrote, “Me real­iz­ing dig­i­tal foot­print is real because when they called for a job inter­view they loved me but when they did a back­ground check they said they did­n’t want to me any more.”

And in the com­ments, one ques­tion kept pop­ping up: how do I back­ground check myself???

Thank­ful­ly, cyber­se­cu­ri­ty pro Chris Souther­land Jr. (@chrisjr404) chimed in with a stitch show­ing a few of the tools that com­pa­nies use to find can­di­dates on social media. In the video, which has been viewed over 14 mil­lion times, Chris shares that com­pa­nies can find accounts asso­ci­at­ed with your email using a tool called Mosint and accounts under a spe­cif­ic user­name using a tool called Nex­fil.

To learn more, I reached out to Chris. He says that even though many peo­ple were shocked at how easy it is to find info using these tools, this is just the tip of the ice­burg. “Employ­ers can find out way more about you than I showed. It all depends on the type of job you are look­ing to get.”

“There are lit­er­al­ly thou­sands of tools that a com­pa­ny can use to spy on their employ­ees. There is that can scrape your Insta­gram account, fig­ure out where you have been, who you asso­ciate with, and more. How­ev­er, it is best to focus on the solu­tion, not the prob­lem.”

He says that what com­pa­nies are able to find about you can affect your prospects in the job mar­ket. “Most peo­ple do not have a sec­ond thought about their pro­fes­sion­al life when they post on their per­son­al social media, which is under­stand­able. How­ev­er, the amount of mon­ey you get offered, the job itself, and every­thing else can be major­ly affect­ed.”

So here’s what Chris says he would do if he was look­ing for a job right now. “I would use a dif­fer­ent real name, user­name, pro­file pic­ture, and email for all my dif­fer­ent social media accounts. Addi­tion­al­ly, I would not attach a phone num­ber to the [social media] account that was on my résumé and make my accounts pri­vate. Last­ly, make sure when you Google your name, noth­ing pops up that you do not want found.”

As for Jay­den, the teenage user whose video start­ed this whole con­vo, they say that they don’t plan to change their post­ing style for now. “My fol­low­ers enjoy my deranged and bad posts, so I just con­tin­ued mak­ing my ques­tion­able posts after­wards.” And in the future, if they ever decide to cov­er up their dig­i­tal tracks, hope­ful­ly it won’t be too dif­fi­cult for them to start fresh.

If you’re won­der­ing what’s okay and not okay to post, that depends in large on what kind of work you do and your indus­try’s stan­dards. Ear­li­er this year, I inter­viewed Sara Skir­boll of Career­Builder about how to your social media when you’re job hunt­ing, and she offered a lot of insights. But to sum it up, Sara said her best advice is, “I live by the phrase, ‘When in doubt, delete.’ ”

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