When I read the article 5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume in 10 years, I think about all the revisions I’ve made to my own resume and all the versions I have stored on my computer. Just last year I updated it and thought to myself, ‘Why do I have to limit this information to just one page?’ I also thought, ‘Does this one page truly reflect my experience and knowledge?’
Dan Schawbel, the author of this Forbes article, says in more ways than one that our one-page resumes are becoming obsolete now that humans are developing more of an online presence. According to Schawbel, “Your online presence communicates, or should communicate, what you’re truly and genuinely passionate about.” He compares your online presence to the common day drug test. “This trend is set to increase year over year and I’ve been predicting that an “online presence search” will become as common as a drug test since 2007,” Schawbel wrote. “Your online presence should consist of your own website at yourfullname.com … This website is the core of your online presence and if you optimize it effectively, it will rank number one for your name in major search engines such as Google.”
I did a Google search for my name in quotes. Here were the top five hits:
- KEVIN KLOTT — Home Page – Anchorage School District. This links to my email address and school website. Getting to my website is a clunky process, but it’s public for all to see.
- Kevin Klott (@MisterKlott) Twitter. This was an alarming find because I realized that my Twitter feed is open to the public. All my posts are kept professional, so it’s not that big of a deal, but I don’t want anyone to have access to my Tweets so in settings I clicked the “Protect your Tweets” box.
- Kevin Klott – Anchorage Daily News. This link provides access to all the articles I wrote for the ADN. I will use this link on my resume. In fact, my entire resume could turn into a series of links, turning the document into a multi-dimensional resource.
- Images for “Kevin Klott” – This link is arguably the most important part of your web presence. Pictures say a thousand words and having a positive mix of professional and personal images is valuable. This reminds me of my favorite section of Schawbel’s article when he wrote, “You need to treat your life as one giant networking event, and meet as many people in your field as you can.”
- Kevin Klott, University of Alaska Fairbanks: Online Innovation and Design. In the future, I would like to see this site move further up the list. How does that work? How does Google determine what earns the top hit versus the No. 5 hit?
The top 5 hits show that my digital footprint serves as an insight into my professional life. Example of work experience and education are transparent for anyone to view. A little more digging allows people to view details of my personal life. For example, by clicking on “Images for Kevin Klott” and you could find a thumbnail photo that leads you to family videos I’ve posted to YouTube and Vimeo. I changed this by going into my YouTube and Vimeo pages and turning those videos to private.
One sketchy thing I discovered was an image of my ASD school picture that says Kevin Lott, not Kevin Klott. It leads to peekyou.com. This website includes personal family information that really shouldn’t be publicly available. It also says I live in Swainsboro, GA, which isn’t true. I think some of this information was obtained through my old myspace profile. Yikes! I found a button to opt out of peekyou.com, so hopefully that works. Some data isn’t as easy to block or delete. The video Four Reasons to Care About Your Digital Footprint addresses plenty of useful topics, but the topic of identity theft interests me the most. Hackers can steal data and cause financial harm to you and your family. We can control this by freezing our credit line. According to a CNBC report, only 8 percent of consumers have frozen their credit reports.
I feel fortunate that my web presence is positive enough that I don’t have to worry about current or future employees scrutinizing my digital footprint. I understand that actions in real life could cause consequences online and actions online could cause consequences in real life. Digital Citizenship Week is October 15-19. I created a digital citizenship unit on Canvas for a summer class I took, but I haven’t had students use it yet. Perhaps I should in the next two weeks?
Schawbel, D. (2013, December 17). 5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume in 10 years. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2011/02/21/5-reasons-why-your-online-presence-will-replace-your-resume-in-10-years/#5a0a4e996069
O’Brien, S. (2018, September 20). Freezing your credit is now free. Retrieved December 9, 2018, from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/20/free-credit-freezes-now-in-effect.html
Internet Society. (2016, January 12). YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro_LlRg8rGg&feature=youtu.be