So What's Online Presence?

So What's Online Presence?
by Kit Warchol
September 01, 2016
This article is part one of our Digital You Month, a collaboration with Squarespace.
We've all had one of those moments. You try to look up a new restaurant and there's...nothing. No website, no Yelp reviews, no hours listed. You're tired, hangry, and so not in the mood for this right now. 
Now, imagine if that were the way a potential employer saw you.
These days, we’re all staring at our phones and laptops for more hours than we spend making eye contact with other humans. Fact. So now, more than ever, cultivating an online presence counts as much as anything else you do professionally—maybe even more than that expensive liberal arts degree
Regardless of whether you're looking for a job or simply looking to organize years worth of projects to save your sanity, your digital self needs a little attention. That’s why we’ve partnered with Squarespace to make September our first Digital You Month, a multi-part series dedicated to helping you build a consistent (and rad) online presence. 

So What Is "Online Presence?"

On the simplest level, it’s just you doing you. We’ve talked a lot about personal branding, and your digital (or online) presence is an extension of this. Every time you update your friends on last night’s outing via Facebook or post a photo of your overpriced, hipster brunch to Instagram, you’re cultivating your online presence. You are your own brand, and every search result linked to you is part of that. Be careful with those hashtags. 
According to a 2016 survey by Career Builder, 60% of employers use social media to screen candidates. That’s up from 52% last year. If by chance you’re working in the IT field? Try 76%. In lay woman’s terms: if you’re considering getting a new job in the next five years, there’s a 2 out of 3 chance (at least) that your potential employer will review your social media accounts and anything else they can find about you online long before they shake your hand.
Online presence? So important. The upshot is that building your Digital You doesn’t need to be a daunting process. To determine how much (or how little) you need to go public online, you need to think about what your goals are right now, but also in the next six months, year, and even five years.
That brings us to our next Digital You post, which you can find right here. But before you go, check out the month's schedule below (and make sure to sign up for our Digital You email list so you don't miss the good stuff). 

How the month Works

Week 1: Digital Presence 101

This week, we'll help you determine whether you need an online presence (and how much of one).
(Read Part 2)

Week 2: The Site Build

Next week, we'll teach you how to build up your digital presence (appropriately—no embarrassing Instagram party photos, please) by creating a personal site.
(Read Part 1 | Part 2)

Week 3: Personalizing + Editing 

In Week 3, we'll help you check your work (and see some of the work of others), so that you feel confident your Digital You is also your best you. 

Week 4: Making Your Digital Presence Work For You

What's the point of building up an online presence if you don't use it to your advantage? In this week, you'll learn how to use your site in networking reach-outs. 

Week 5: Maintaining Momentum

It's easy to build it and then leave it,  but that's not ideal. We'll give you the resources you need to keep updating, refining, and mastering your find digital self. 
Did we mention the free downloads and giveaways? Yep, we go big. 

We double dare you to join in

Interested in following along? Subscribe to our Digital You mailing list (ahem, see below) so you don’t miss a thing. We’ll email you each week with a reminder that there are new articles to read. You can also follow along by bookmarking this page
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This article is part of our Digital You Month. Don't forget to use our special code CONTESSA to get 10% off your Squarespace site.