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!
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