Online Profiles? Cracking One of Today’s Biggest Mysteries

What! No online footprint? Then you don’t exist for me.

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD
3 min readFeb 3, 2023
Photo courtesy of author

Another day at the office and I’m discussing job applications with a colleague. She never starts by reading or even looking at the supporting documents that job applicants send. Instead, the first thing she does is to check the applicants’ online profiles.

It takes away the facade of the job application, she says. Who cares about CVs and cover letters anymore? I’m surprised they are still a thing. An online footprint is real. A better metric of who a person is and where they are at.

I feel a generational gap.

She continues. How do they present themselves online? Bio. Pictures. Recent activities. Experiences. Skills. Actions and reactions. It reveals much more about applicants than a traditional CV or cover letter.

Maybe, she has a point. Her approach is a more natural selection process. In the old world — of limited information — we needed CVs and cover letters to know anything about applicants. Ours is definitely not a world of perfect information but one internet search can reveal a lot about a person.

And so, job applicants who haven’t adapted to a digital environment — the ones without an online footprint — are definitely…



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.