How can you create an authentic online professional profile?

In my last post I mentioned how some people choose to portray different identities online, often to separate social and professional life. A lot can go wrong without a professional profile, as seen with the infamous Justine Sacco (Ronson, 2015). A recent Jobvite survey suggested that 73% of employers had used social media to hire employees (Jobvite, 2014).
So how can you create an authentic, professional profile?

Use LinkedIn!

The most obvious starting point has to be LinkedIn. An estimated 79% of employers who use social media to recruit, use LinkedIn (Jobvite, 2014).
I’m personally midway through the application process for a job which I was contacted about through LinkedIn. I gained a lot of respect for the organisation as they went out of their way to contact me. I was also able to ask a range of questions related to the role. I’ve outlined some LinkedIn tips below:

lin

Graphic created using Canva, loosely influenced by video found here

But it’s not all about LinkedIn!

While LinkedIn is undeniably a dominant figure in e-recruitment, other social media services can be just as valuable and we should look to take a 360 degree to our job search (Harris, 2014) .

twit2

The above tweet demonstrates a job listing that appeared after searching for ‘Graduate jobs’. If employers are using Twitter to post jobs, what’s to say they’re not using it to view applicant’s profiles?
As a result you should strive to maintain a respectable profile. This might be achieved through a clean out of images or by focusing tweets on professional subjects. Having said that, I think it’s important not to make your profile look false. It can in fact be beneficial to tweet about your social interests, but do so in moderation and not at the expense of your professionalism.
Here’s a video with some useful advice on how to use social media professionally:

Equally…It’s not all about social media!

It’s been suggested that blogging is attractive to employers as it demonstrates creativity and dedication (TheEmployable, 2014)Additionally if you’re in to something like web design, why not link to your personal webpage your digital profiles?
The real take away here is that there’s no one way to build a professional profile, it all comes down you and your interests.

tips

Graphic created using Canva

 

Why don’t you take a look at my channels (links on my ‘about’ page) and see where I could improve? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!

 

Word count: 395

References

BBC. (2013, December 18). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962
Harris, L. (2014, March 13). Using social media in your job search. Retrieved from University of Southampton: http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/
Intern Queen Inc. (2016, May 4). How To be Professional on Social Media! | The Intern Queen. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VynmGy6GLEs
Jobvite. (2014). Social Recruting Survey. Retrieved from https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf
Lyra Communications. (2013, September 17). LinkedIn Tricks To Make Your Profile Awesome. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fqrRLSrp8E
Ronson, J. (2015, February 12). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. Retrieved from nytimes.com: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=1
TheEmployable. (2014, October 28). How blogging can help you get a job. Retrieved from http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/
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7 thoughts on “How can you create an authentic online professional profile?

  1. Hi Callum

    I found your post informative and clear. I wished to ask, with regards to your post on “it’s not all about LinkedIn” whether it was possible to separate your professional profile from your social on other social networking sites and apps as most of the content we now post is public for everyone to see. For instance, a school coach in America got fired from his job after posting a picture of himself holding a bottle of alcohol (http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2017/02/22/former-lion-fired-as-h-s-football-coach-due-to-his-wifes-three-year-old-instagram-post/). Similarly, a police officer was fired for posting a racial slur on her snapchat. In your opinion are we meant to be more professional in our social spheres, keep those accounts private or have multiple social media accounts?

    Regards
    Ji

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ji, thanks for the links. They’re really interesting and reminded me of an older story I’ve previously read http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354515/Teacher-sacked-posting-picture-holding-glass-wine-mug-beer-Facebook.html

    Personally I do try and keep my social life and professional life separate e.g with strict Facebook privacy settings. Having said that, I still try to stay professional in my social sphere even when talking about less professional issues, such as music interests. Even if our social profiles are separated and ‘private’, all it takes is for someone to screenshot and post one of your controversial tweets to cause major problems.

    What’s your stance on the matter? I think people need to be educated on how public their posts are, particularly when posting on a ‘private’ account. For this to happen, I feel the issue would need to be tackled by the social media services themselves, but would they want to do such a thing?

    Thanks
    Callum

    Like

  3. I think you are totally right, it is very difficult to to separate public and the private online identities especially if you are working in a team with colleagues as you may choose to socialise with them outside of the workplace. This creates an overlap in our online identities and therefore we have to negotiate our public and private lives in one space.

    If we fail to do this effectively then we have conflict and the fallout could result in you losing your job or having a bad reputation. The safest way would probably be, as you said, to still maintain a semi professional persona in our social spheres rather than take risks. I believe to some extent we are educating people about their social media accounts through blogging as social media services may not wish to educate people as it they may be reluctant to use their sites more frequently.

    Regards Ji

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Callum! Well done on a great blog post, I found it a really interesting read! I particularly liked the 6 tips graphic as I found it simple enough to remember when posting professional content online but also super helpful. Similar to Ji’s comment above I found your “it’s not all about LinkedIn” section really insightful, especially in comparison to the previous section of tip tips to make the most of your LinkedIn profile. Where do you stand on this scale? Do you focus more on one particular social media platform?

    I also found it interesting how some companies are advertising jobs on Twitter now! It seems to me to be a very unconventional way of recruiting and I personally wouldn’t even think to look at places like Twitter for a job and would stick to conventional job sites like indeed – before you started researching this blog post is this somewhere you would have considered to look for a job?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
    Rachel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rachel
      Thanks for the positive comments on my post. I’m glad you liked the graphics!

      I tend to use Twitter a lot more than I used to after becoming aware of such posts. However I typically only become aware of jobs through accounts I follow such as recruitment pages rather than specifically searching. Additionally as I’m coming towards the end of university I’ve found LinkedIn to be incredibly useful. I was initially apprehensive as to how good it was but I have no such doubts today and it’s definitely the social network I use the most often professionally.

      In my job search I tend to try and vary my approach using both LinkedIn, Twitter and sites such as Indeed. Out of the three I’d probably say Indeed is my most used tool as it offers both part time, full time and graduate jobs.

      Thanks for the discussion!
      Callum

      Like

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