Topic 3- Building your Online Professional Profile

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What comes to mind when you hear the word authentic? Well anything along the lines of reliability and honesty is correct. When we associate authenticity to the digital world regarding online professional profiles, this builds upon the notion of how one represents themselves online i.e. via LinkedIn. In Topic 2, we spoke about the benefits and limitations of having multiple online identities in which I concluded that the benefits outweigh the limitations, if used for correct purposes. It’s therefore up to oneself of whether they wish to build genuine profiles, or not. So how exactly do you develop an authentic voice?

To post, or not to post? That is the question. For those who want to develop their online professional profile, it’s vital to post content you will not later regret. Being too authentic; posting things with no thought or regard for how you represent your personal brand can lead to further consequences e.g. affecting employability. Therefore mistakes should be avoided where possible since everything you and I post online can be traced back. Our actions leave a trail of “digital breadcrumbs” that can be found (Hutchinson, 2014). It’s important to furthermore notice that privacy settings cannot always cover all liabilities. However in some cases we may be involuntarily tagged to inappropriate Facebook photos, which I have experienced. Luckily Facebook users are able to un-tag themselves from such photos, allowing for some control on such platforms.

The number one key to developing authenticity is consistency. It’s important to be true to yourself and your brand through all profiles you may use (i.e. Facebook and LinkedIn).  (Admin, 2014) states “When it comes to hiring, it is common practice for recruitment heads to use social media as a supporting tool in the whole process of sourcing candidates”. Therefore, when developing professional online profiles, we should all aim to post content in-line with the persona we have developed.

Overall, since organisations are nearly always looking through professional networks to review candidate profiles to support recruitment, candidates need to take note of this trend and act upon it. Considering social media, networks such as LinkedIn are increasingly emerging as branding tools for individuals (Admin, 2014), we must therefore exert control over the content that represents us.

Check out the video below on the top five to-dos on your LinkedIn profile. And if you don’t have one, why not make one today!

References

Keep your professional networking profile updated | Tjinsite. 2015. Keep your professional networking profile updated | Tjinsite. [ONLINE] Available at: http://content.timesjobs.com/keep-professional-networking-profile-updated/. [Accessed 06 March 2015].

Professional authenticity: Can you be too authentic online?, Business. 2015.Professional authenticity: Can you be too authentic online?, Business. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.firebrandtalent.com/2014/09/professional-authenticity-can-you-be-too-authentic-online/. [Accessed 06 March 2015].

Tips to Create Professional Looking Online Profiles (Part 1) | UTPA Career Services. 2015. Tips to Create Professional Looking Online Profiles (Part 1) | UTPA Career Services. [ONLINE] Available at:http://utpacareerservices.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/tips-to-create-professional-looking-online-profiles-part-1/. [Accessed 06 March 2015].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8WZxYFaSmI

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8 comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog this week and liked the connections you made to last week’s topic regarding ‘Multiple Identities’. I found your discussion on authenticity and thoughtful posting particularly interesting. However, as posts become somewhat strategic, how authentic is a professional profile when it is targeted to a particular audience? For example, in order to attract employers, individuals will highlight their best assets and may exaggerate their skills and characteristics. Is this truly authentic?

    Similarly, how easy is it to remain safe online whilst being authentic? If we treat LinkedIn, for example, as an extended CV, how private is our information?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, since unfortunately people who are trying to attract employers may put up a false facade which blurs the whole idea of authenticity. However do remember that employers won’t only base their perception of someone based on their online profile, since employing someone involves many other important and intimate stages such as one on one interviews and assessment centres.

      Now onto your second question, I don’t believe there is a certain extent to how private cv based information in LinkedIn is or should be, thus whether this is a focal point. The purpose of LinkedIn is so that profiles are viewed by potential employers. Surely you wouldn’t want your skills, qualifications and employment history etc. to be hidden on a platform such as LinkedIn.

      Like

  2. Hi Irinie,
    I agree with you that its important to remain professional online so that you won’t regret it later. However, I think that at times our true personality is overshadowed, as we grow more towards the need to be ‘professional’. Do you agree?
    Additionally, aspects of the Internet I enjoy are the elements of risk and openness. However, as the Internet becomes more controlled through privacy settings as you state and the need to be seen as ‘authentic’, I think these elements have gone.

    Despite this, I completely agree with your point that in order for your online profile to be acknowledged professionally, you should be easily identifiable on all platforms. Whenever I’m on a website, I like to connect with other aspects of the brand or person simply by the click of the mouse and the opening of a new tab.

    I look forward to your next post!

    Like

    1. Let’s go back 5 years when we were both in secondary school. Social media platforms were solely to interact and socialise; perhaps showing true personality. I remember how I candidly tweeted and shared Facebook status’, which represented who I was. However, as I’ve grown older, steering more towards the professional world I do watch what I tweet and post, yes because I keep in mind that employers may be watching. Also if part of our personality, as we grow and mature involves exercising how to be professional, I don’t believe our true personalities are overshadowed to a great deal. This would of course be the case if people strategised every single status or tweet that they put out there, which wouldn’t at all be authentic.

      Liked by 1 person

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