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The Digital Footprint Is Impossible to Wipe Away

The Digital Footprint Is Impossible to Wipe Away

If you are applying for a new job and have to update your CV, just be careful and think how it will be used.

The ‘curriculum vitae’ is an old Latin expression quite literally meaning ‘the course of your life’. As few things remain hidden for long these days, the actual course of your life may well be far more detailed in cyberspace than you thought. Or hoped.

Jeremy I’Anson, professional career coach, suggests that perhaps the 2 page paper CV has had its day. With LinkedIn and ‘ad hoc’ jobs adverts on Twitter, the value of the old-fashioned CV is being questioned.

Google Will Be a Factor

I’Anson reckons that recruiters will usually go straight to Google whether a CV is accompanied by a letter or anything else, just to see what a candidate has been up to.

Chief Executive of, Patrick Ambron, helps people ‘clean up their online presence’. He says, ‘There’re one billion names Googled every single day, like it or not, so Google is your first impression’.

Bosses in Britain still in the main demand a CV, but they automatically have the online presence searched so you need to have it clean, acceptable and appropriate. And that includes your social media entries such as silly photos, daft comments and the like.

Obviously, I’Anson says that up to date LinkedIn pages, personal blogs written by you in your jobs area of interest is positive footprinting likely to help you get an interview. Personal pages on Facebook & Co will also help rather than hinder, as they show keenness and ability at exploiting the current media options.

Think Different

He wrote about Philippe Dubost, a French web product manager who dreamed up an online CV as an Amazon page ‘complete with product dimensions, five star ratings and the byline: ‘Only one left in stock, order soon’.

It was undoubtedly clever and in just a couple of months since January, he has had 1.3 million unique visitors and received over 100 job offers.

Big advertising hoardings/billboards and attempting viral clips about yourself on YouTube have also joined the ways of getting yourself noticed in a continuing keen job market.

I’Anson concludes by urging that your professional online presence helps differentiate you from other job hunters.

Erasing What You Don’t Want to Leave Behind

The digital version of your footprint is not like a line of steps in the sand that wind, water and other people will erase. It’s there forever and even if partially removed still leaves traces.

Writing on Maximum PC, Jeffrey A Lambert asked every reader to picture all the things he/she had used the internet for in the past 24 hours. That could include checking/sending emails, updated Facebook, paid bills, read latest news and weather, talked on Skype to somebody far away, shopped and ordered goods or services,gamed and/or gambled, perhaps accessed something pornographic…

In an age on increasing fraud, identity theft, online scamming and privacy concerns this was, and still is, a very hot issue indeed.

Lambert reminded everyone that even after logging off, data accessed or transmitted cannot vanish. ‘With the rise of identity theft, corporate tracking, and the ability of “Big Brother” to access our private data, it is more important than ever for Internet users to be aware of how past and future data can be erased and controlled more effectively.’

He recommended Google Alarm created by F.A.T.Labs which will ‘notify you each time you are sending data to Google. Just make sure you disable the sound option for this’. They do versions without sound, especially for use in the office while you’re at work.

That is, if you can get a job without sinking without trace into the digital quicksands!


Daily Telegraph, Jeremy I’Anson, Job hunters are being tracked online, 7 March 2013

Philippe Dubost, online CV, like an Amazon page

Maximum PC, Jeffrey A Lambert, October 2011, How To Erase Your Digital Footprint

Google Alarm

Net Giants Will Always Overwhelm, Control and Suck People Dry, 26 February 2013

When Campaigning for Web Freedom Gets Real, Dirty and Personal, 11 February 2013

Life-Logging Is Not the Harmless Fun It’s Portrayed to Be, 6 February 2013

Who Actually Owns Your Social Media? 19 June 2012

A Hard Day at the Office, 24 April 2012

Self-Googling: The Latest Fix for Extreme Computer Sport Junkies, 9 March 2012

Image: Stoppe