A theme of last week’s post highlighted the damage that can be caused when our digital profile is not established professionally, hindering employment opportunities. This week, however, I will explore the ways in which an authentic professional profile can be produced online in order to improve recruitment prospects, and how to overcome authenticity issues.
In the modern era, Online employment is very much a two way process, with job-seekers creating a digital profile that works to improve their chances of employment, while companies begin to remove traditional forms of advertising, attracting young people to their company through social media outlets in an efficient and cost effective manner (Tapscott, 2014)
Creating a professional profile
One of the best ways to develop a professional online presence is through the creation of a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is centered on the professional presentation of individuals, allowing members of the site to “Link” to other users, network with professionals, and ultimately discover new employment opportunities (Carruthers, 2012). The growth of the site has meant that around 85% of recruiters use LinkedIn before looking at any other recruitment tools (LinkedIn, 2015), therefore, the way that a person presents themselves of on the site is hugely important.
It may also be useful to establish a professional online persona on other social media sites, ways to do this successfully are outlined in the figure below.
Being authentic and professional
Authenticity indicates originality and being genuine, this may prove difficult to display professionally due to the multi-dimension aspects of individuals, often causing people to fake authenticity in order to seem professional, or allowing their social activities to disrupt their professional persona (Hensen, 2011). In order to remain authentic and professional, a balance must be created in all facets of our digital self. This balance involves displaying features of social engagement where appropriate, managing our professional online self competently, and ensuring we adhere to strict online privacy settings (Hanson, 2011)
This video below summarises the important of authenticity with responsibility, Njeri Watkins highlights in the video that written online language can be easily misconstrued, so we must be mindful and in full control of content that we display online in order not to tarnish our self-image.
I feel it is vital to view your professional online persona as your own “brand” that encapsulates the most positive aspects of self-presentation across a variety of online platforms, but that is also reflective of your offline-self. When combined these factors are key to remaining authentic online both on social sites and when using formal networking sites.
Word count: 419
BBC (2013) Job hunting: how to promote yourself online
Carruthers. R (2012), Southampton Careers service, managing your digital footprint
Hanson. M, (2011), The Guardian, Managing your professional reputation on social media
Hensen. A (2011) Building online trust: 7 tips for being authentic online
Huffington post (2016), your online identity: Your strongest brand or your worst nightmare?
LinkedIn (2015), why is having a good LinkedIn profile so important?
Ohio state university career services, Building your professional online profile
Ronsom. J (2015) The New York Times magazine, How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s life
Tapscott. D (2014), five ways talent management must change
The Employable (2014), how blogging can help you get a job
Watkins. N (2015), YouTube, Developing your professional online identity
Figure 1: self-made using Piktochart
Figure 2: self-made using Piktochart