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]



9 thoughts on “Topic 3 – authentic, online, professional profile development.

  1. I enjoyed this posting Vicky!

    Your sentiments on avoiding negative documentations and carrying a professional presence online where shared by me over at my blog!

    Do you feel the dominance of LinkedIn as a professional platform has almost coerced every upcoming graduate into making an account with them? Of course as your great PowToon mini movie depicted, there are other platforms which support users’ development of their professional profiles. However, LinkedIn has really monopolised this market with over 400million online users! [1].

    The arguments you raised over the power of social media as an employability tool are definitely relatable. I’ve had friends recently land job roles with both Goldman Sachs & J.P. Morgan, on reference of their online digital profiles! If you want a different perspective on developing your online professional profile, check out this video [2]. It ties in well with my previous point on conformity into the LinkedIn environment and how in some ways you can actually utilise multiple platforms of identity to really FastTrack your outreach to potentially lucrative employers!

    It will be interesting to see the development of profiles in the coming years, with advances in people’s presentation and acceptance; having changed so dramatically in the past 20yrs! [3]

    Keep up the great posts 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely think LinkedIn has “lured” almost every prospective applicant into creating an account with them. I’ve also noticed when applying for jobs, they ask me if I have a LinkedIn page to link as this is seen as an “easier” way to view my professional experiences, what I’m looking to go into and what skills I have. I think it’s a lot more personal than a typical CV, just because you can put what causes you care about, a nice professional photo, etc. Whilst your CV is normally limited to two pages, your LinkedIn profile can recount hundreds of details: volunteering experiences, qualifications, references.

      Thanks for the video you shared. Anna-Clare grace also shared some great tips ( where she talks about the importance of blogging and tweeting. However, not everyone is that in touch with their technological side so I’m wondering if I don’t blog, instagram or tweet, how far will that affect recruiters’ decisions?


      1. I agree, the reliance upon LinkedIn is currently justified due to the all-inclusive nature of the service it offers!

        In respect of Anna’s blog, she highlights a growing phenomenon among our generation of users. I feel social media/blog activity provides users with a competitive advantage over other candidates, in the same way an internship at a company does!

        However, I feel it still remains subjective to the job and company you are applying to work for. Showing a keen interest in a companies activity and investing your time and effort into fitting their job role ideals is definitely something they’d appreciate. However, compromising your social and leisure-based exploits or going completely out of your comfort zone as result of this; isn’t something I’d personally advocate.

        *Maybe I’m biased because of my desire to start my own company lol* 🙂


  2. Hi Vicky, thanks for making such a great contribution to the discussion on this week’s topic and I think you’ve made some really interesting points. I especially like the point that you make about personal branding which is something I think a few people including myself have come across. I also think you’re right in that this topic really builds on last week’s in an interesting way thinking about using our professional identity as an asset rather than trying to hide the personal identity. Thank you also for sharing the Twitter Job Hustle experiment it was really usual and interesting and a great way to show how much you can benefit from being a bit creative with your online professional profiles. The article by Henry (2014) which you shared made some great points about cleaning up your online impression before putting it to work for you in a positive way. I came across a really great website/resource which can help with this first part, Reppler ( it allows you to put all your social media accounts together in one place and then scans them and puts together a picture of your online presence as well as really helpfully highlighting any inappropriate content you may have and any privacy or security risks. I would definitely recommend it as I’ve found it really useful! Let me know what you think, if you get a chance to have a look at it?

    Liked by 1 person

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