Digital Career Literacy

Posted by: Dawn Schell on July 12, 2013 12:41 pm

I can’t avoid it any longer.  I’ve talked about it enough.   The time for action has come!

When I read “Building Online Employability – a guide for academic departments” by Longridge, Hooley and Staunton[1] I was reminded of how important it is for me as a career development practitioner to be digitally career literate.  

What is digital career literacy?  To quote the authors, “…an interlinked set of technical skills, career management and employability skills”. They go on to say, “Digital career literacy is already important to an individual’s ability to pursue a career successfully, but it is getting more important.”

I would agree.   The use of social networking sites to either recruit or screen out potential employees has risen dramatically in the past couple of years. One survey indicates 75% of HR departments are required to screen candidates online and 70% of recruiters have rejected potential candidates based on information that surfaced online.

So what’s involved in becoming digitally career literate?

According to Longridge, Hooley and Staunton, “This encompasses much more than being able to protect one’s reputation online and an ability to use social media packages. It also requires students to create content, collect and critically evaluate online information, adapt to on-going technological developments and develop an ability to build meaningful professional relationships online.”


Where to start?

In an earlier post[2] I mentioned Hooley’s 7 C’s framework of skills one needs to effectively to build or manage a career in the online environment.  The 7 C’s are: changing, collecting, critiquing, connecting, communicating, creating and curating.

It’s handy for me that the authors have listed the 7 C’s as learning outcomes (see p. 26).  These learning outcomes give me a way to assess my skills levels and direct my learning.   In reviewing these learning outcomes I can see I particularly need to work on connecting and curating. 

What does that mean?  Well, I need to spend dedicated time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Contact Point….   All in the name of career development, of course (LOL).  And understanding how these social networking sites can be useful in terms of career.  

Good thing I have a laptop so I can still enjoy the summer sun while I do this!

It would be way more fun if I could pursue this goal with someone else.   If I lived closer to Toronto I would attend this session – “Social Media for Career Development Bootcamp: Your Complete “How to” Guide”.  This is part of the Summer Skills Academy that CERIC is organizing in August 2013.  Go to for more information.   

Since I can’t go to Toronto I will find an accountability partner [anyone out there care to join me?]and I will ask a couple of university students I know if they would like to work with me on this.  That way I can share what I am learning and they can acquire much-needed career management skills.  Sounds like a win-win to me.


Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.


*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

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