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The Paper Resume is Dead: How to Curate Your Professional Online Presence

If you’ve spent any time trying to find a new job in 2020, you know that the process is laborious at best. Hiring managers are being inundated with tens of thousands of resumes and application submissions due to an unprecedented number of unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may seem bleak, but there are ways to take control over your digital footprint to help ensure that the image you’re projecting to new organizations helps you stand out. 

Just as brands keep their SEO and web presence top-of-mind in order to maintain relevance and ensure website clicks, the same sentiment holds true for individuals as well. What you put online follows you, for better or worse, so if you’re job hunting, now’s the time to clean up and curate what you want HR managers to find out about you. 

  1. Google yourself. Are the first three links that get served back complimentary? Or are they spring break pictures from the early 2000’s that you hope no one will ever see? If your answer is the latter, spend time cleaning up your social media profiles before applying for jobs. Remove any photo tags that don’t depict you in a professional manner and delete old posts that no longer align with your current beliefs. 
  2. Make sure your professional achievements stand out. If a hiring manager does Google your name, making sure your profile on is up-to-date and has all of your digital badges displayed is a great way to get noticed. Make sure you accept all of your outstanding badges so that you have a full portfolio of all of your learning achievements in one place. That way, the organization you want to join knows exactly what skills you’re bringing to the table. 
  3. Mindfully curate your social media presence. If you haven’t been on LinkedIn in a while, it’s no longer optional when you’re job searching. Make sure that your profile is up-to-date, link all of your digital badges and certificates, and make sure you’re following and interacting with your network. LinkedIn is a great place to vocalize your job search to your network, both publicly and privately. Your online brand is your resume now,  so make sure that you’re engaging, insightful and helpful. This signals to hiring managers that you’d be a great fit for their organization by giving them a sense of your personality before they even reach out to you. 

Your digital presence allows hiring managers to get a better understanding of who you are as a person, instead of just relying on your resume to tell the full story of who you are. Be authentic, be proactive, and the perfect role will find you. 

If you're interested in learning more about how digital credentials can help you take control of your career, listen to Nate's story.