Don’t put your foot in it: How your digital footprint can prevent you from landing your dream job

In the current challenging climate, competition for jobs has never been higher, which is why your digital footprint, especially on social media, is so important. The wrong footprint has the potential to damage your chances of getting your dream job.

Here at urban, we want to ensure that you get the job you want, so be aware that often a job application is influenced by more than just your CV. An increasingly prominent factor that a hiring manager will consider when shortlisting prospective employees is how they come across online.

According to, the average amount of time we each spent using the internet daily during 2019 was 328 minutes, with a staggering 102 minutes of this on social media.  With the global pandemic keeping many of us at home, that figure is set to increase. It makes you wonder: What impact could all this time spent on social media have on your career?

“The average amount of time we each spent using the internet daily during 2019 was 328 minutes, with a staggering 102 minutes of this on social media.”

Our digital footprint is a term used to describe the trail we leave behind when searching the web or using social media. This can range from a brief Google search to entire chat histories. Today, more than ever before, we find ourselves surrounded by an ever-increasing number of social media sites, encouraging us to share information about our lives. Whether it’s retweeting on Twitter, likes on Facebook, posting photos on Instagram or creating videos for TikTok, it all reflects on you as a person and can be easily found by current and future employers.

When it comes to the recruitment process, many prospective employers will search for your digital footprint. Whether it’s a search on Google, a scroll through Instagram or scan through Twitter, this will influence their perception of you and whether you are the right fit for their company. Failing to control your footprint may result in you getting the boot before your foot’s even in the door!

So what can we do to keep control of our digital image? 

Consider how you want to be seen – Google yourself. The correct public profile will support you, the wrong one will hinder you, which is why it’s vital to stay aware and use it to your advantage. If you are not happy with what you see, take action. If you can’t amend it yourself, you can approach the search engine company and ask them to remove the posts or photos. It is also a good idea to delete any unused social media accounts or make them private. You should always ensure that your privacy settings are positioned to the strictest level, i.e. only friends and family.

On social media, we can react instantly and say things that we might later regret. Try to avoid and remove all negative statements, videos or pictures from any online presence, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, forums, company websites, etc. Most importantly, remember to #bekind. In this way, you can proactively manage your digital footprint, and it isn’t just determined by your privacy settings. You can therefore effectively manage your footprint to ensure that the prints you leave are good ones.

Influencing Your Digital Future

How do you want to be seen? The right public profile will support you, the wrong one could hinder you, so it’s vital to stay aware and use it to your advantage.

  • LinkedIn – Use your LinkedIn profile to sell you: Follow the companies you admire, like their posts, share copies of your portfolio and/or CV; fill it out to sell you to prospective employers. Add statements that demonstrate your experience, knowledge and insights.  
  • Social media profile pictures – You may want to share a humorous photo with your friends but consider what your future prospective employer would think of it… Is this still a photo you want to share? 
  • Be aware of what you post – Always think twice about what you write or allow to be seen by others. Only post positive remarks.
  • Pictures/videos – Would you be comfortable sharing this video with a work colleague? Be cautious of sharing photos and videos online.
  • Timing – Often sites will time/date stamp. Avoid posting in core working hours.
  • Recommendations – Only ask for referrals when you have performed a good job and ensure it is from senior management. A peer adding a recommendation will only dilute what you have done, rather than carry weight. Don’t be upset with a person if they decline to recommend you. Sometimes this can be their company policy or perhaps concern about their ‘public face’.
  • Groups/forums – What circles of the web do you find yourself in? Try to consider what they say about you.

“Google yourself.”

Mark Nagle

Finally, once you get your dream job, make sure you know and comply with your employer’s internet and social media policies.

For support with your job search in architecture and interior design, contact us at


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