Reflecting on Topic 3

Kate’s post commented on how being dedicated to a non-profit task can help you stand out from the crowd. Tom’s post flagged just that, he managed to attract an employer by setting up his own website due to the nature of his degree. Every job opportunity recognizes different values – some still relying on traditional CVs and Cover Letters as I discovered this week in The University’s “Change Your World Week”. There was a LinkedIn Lab session as perfectly highlighted by Melinda’s tweet which helped to “pimp” the online “brand” that I present to recruiters. This proved fruitful as when speaking to the staff, they showed me how to alter my profile in order to appeal to online LinkedIn jobs, however the careers centre also highlighted the fact that paper CVs and Cover Letters are still very much in demand and how trivial online achievements come in handy in  the “Personal Interests/Additional Information” section.

An interesting discussion reignited a debate on Tom’s blog which made me think. Despite Twitter and Facebook helping authenticity, recruiters and online presence, they can be detrimental to one’s image which goes back to discussions in Topic 2. Should we be anonymous when posting about private/personal/social matters or should we try to link platforms like Melina suggests in order to prove we are active online as “digital residents” and therefore authentic?

Abby’s post also talked about the idea of personal branding. This really depends on what field you’re planning on going into. I may be in my final year at university but I’m still unsure of what I want to do once I graduate. Therefore I don’t really have a concrete “personal brand” built yet. I don’t know how to market myself on LinkedIn either when it asks me to choose “my industry”. LinkedIn isn’t very user-friendly in this respect to those like me who are uncertain of their career path.Changing my chosen industry however to each job application however is time-consuming and affects consistency.







My comments (which you can see here and here) reflect on the question “are employers being too nosy when looking us all up online?”  Azam’s blog post however saw him talk about an info-graphic which was very appealing to me. 24% of employers look at industry knowledge and expertise as well as professional experience when screening candidates which I believe to key qualities in recruiting.


Topic 3 – authentic, online, professional profile development.

What is an ‘authentic online professional profile’? Well, Google seems to mention the words ‘personal branding’ in the results returned. For those who already have some sort of social media presence, this normally includes checking you’ve got everything right (a good checklist here) and polishing up existing profiles rather than starting from scratch. Lisa Johnson Mandell  talks about injecting a little ‘botox’ to establish an authentic personal brand.

A study has shown that more than a fifth of 18-34-year-olds are now recruited on social networks (Haggerty, 2013). Check out my mini movie on the facts and figures presented by the  JobVite survey from 2014.


So if 93% of recruiters review our social profiles before making a hiring decision, what can one do to make their online profile both authentic and professional? (Some of you may find this link useful when thinking about this question.)

The first step is to try to ensure no negative documentations of you can be found online. I mean inappropriate photos, extreme opinions or comments that can be traced back to your profile, even rants on a social network might be enough to put an employer off as it suggests a bad attitude (Cooper, 2011). I personally believe in developing a fine line between personal activity and professional as outlined in Topic 2: Online Identity. This article details a list of employees that got fired for expressing themselves over social media… so think twice! Also, you may want to check out the LifeHack Google Chrome extension that adds privacy reminders to Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail every time you’re about to post something that could be risky –Internet Shame InsuranceThis video shows just how important professionalism and personal accounts are when job searching.

Justine Sacco
You might not remember where/what you posted on a night out… but your social media does. And so does your potential employer…

The second step is carving a positive professional online presence. One of the key attributes employers look for is evidence of a presence on a business network such as LinkedIn (Cooper, 2011). We can also take on advice given to business to keep their profiles authentic and apply it to ourselves to ensure we get the most out of our online presence.

Other notable tips include:  Making sure that your profile is complete, keyword-rich, typo-free and that you are representing yourself honestly and in a positive manner (Hyams, 2012). By upgrading your LinkedIn account, you can also benefit from commenting in discussion boards, engaging with professionals and following articles posted by companies in the relevant field you want to go into. In this way, your profile will develop authenticity and you will improve your job prospects.

However, we don’t need to limit ourselves.  For example, if you are trying to get a job in the film industry consider signing up for video services such as Vimeo and using them to exhibit your material.

Networking is also really important according to the World Economic Forum. By starting employment early, you’re already engaging with the people you want to noticed by. By keeping a network of past and present colleagues, you have a web of contacts that could get you a future job!

Another option is to use social media to find a way to stand out from the crowd. An example of this is The Twitter Job Hustle experiment, a clever campaign by Bas van de Poel and Daan van Dam to get a job at a leading advertisement agency. It sure worked!

The power of social media in the recruitment process is becoming undeniable. In February 2013, Enterasys recruited over Twitter. The key element of your personal brand is deciding who you are and what it is you want to be known for.









Jobvite, (2014), Social Recruiting Survey Results, [Online], Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016]

Cooper, C. 2011. You’ve been Googled: what employers don’t want to see in your online profile. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Haggerty, A. 2013. Evidence mounts in favour of social media job hunting as survey reveals one in five are recruited on social networks. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Harris, L. 2013. Building online professional profile. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Henry, A. 2014. How to Clean Up Your Online Presence and Make a Great First Impression. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Nevins, T. 2013 Social Data and Mobile Diminishing the Significance of the Resume [online] Available at: [Accessed: 7Mar 2016]

Silverman, R. and Weber, L. 2014. The New Résumé: It’s 140 Characters. [online] Available at:[Accessed: 7 Mar 2016].

Tapscott, D. 2014 Five Ways Talent Management Must Change Available at: [Accessed: 7 Mar 2016]


Reflective Summary – Topic 2

A lot of insightful comments were made this week with different interpretations to the topic in hand.

I saw that a colleague’s blog post highlighted Ludovic’s theory on how what you post online through different identities, doesn’t necessarily define who you are when you go offline. He also points out – a website which stores all your identities into one place. Another colleague also discussed this idea of offline and online identity – are you or the other? She also picked up on website, Social Mention.

It appears that these collaborative sites to store identities are underused – I personally wouldn’t use them and I’m not sure how many people fell the need to filter all their accounts into one page. Through more research, I also found this blog. The author talks about how even before the Internet existed, people have always adapted their behaviour with regards to whom they’re addressing. That is to say – you wouldn’t necessarily confide in your work colleagues about your personal hobbies and you wouldn’t interact in the same way with your folks as you would with your closest friendship group. The point the author makes is that, although these things aren’t secret, we don’t go around publicizing every detail to anyone that will listen. We subconsciously tailor the information we pass on to the audience we’re addressing and the same can be said about what we choose to post on the web and where. There are many sides to a person offline, I believe the same can be said for the way they choose to represent themselves online too.

The 7 steps video seems to also be something a lot of my peers view in a negative light. The general view of it being how encouraging multiple identities and “using the same username for all social media sites” is risky due to the security and professionalism issues that entail.

However, we all seem to be in agreement over the fact that multiple identities is perhaps necessary in order to filter different aspects of life we want shared. Researching personal issues, commenting on videos/social media posts are best gone through different accounts in order for it not to hinder the way you want to brand yourself professionally and personally. It seems Facebook is the leader for all things personal and professional. Even some of my Southampton modules have Facebook groups/events where teachers and students collaborate on projects together, so perhaps some online identities are merging together to create a whole new wave of identity?

My comments can be found here (where a very interesting discussion erupted on mental health and online identity) and here (where we discussed the controversial outing of violentacrez).

Interestingly enough, there appears to be a  Southampton Uni course which focuses on the power of social media and its impact… perhaps some of us UOSM2008 students will be bringing along some of our knowledge!