Topic 3- Reflection

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This week’s topic combined conflicting ideals of authenticity within a professional online profile.

Rebecca and Scott both posed similar questions on my blog in reference to my notion of “self-branding”, suggesting that through self-promotion of our “best self”, we are not remaining authentic. This made me consider what online authenticity truly involves. After some contemplation, I proposed to them that online authenticity should not involve remaining consistent in all facets of our online persona, but instead, make use of the multi-dimensional aspects of our personality, behaving adaptably in order to show traits of our character where appropriate (e.g. remaining formal in professional online settings). Scott agreed with this suggestion, making reference to the themes of topic 2, multiple identities, in which we adapt and express different values throughout our online personas, something I certainly believed.

With these considerations of adaptability, I gathered an understanding that it may be important to incorporate personal and professional profiles in order to improve employment prospects. On Oliver’s blog, however, he stated that personal and professional profiles should remain separate. I suggested to Oliver that potential employers may benefit from combined professional and personal profiles in order to present yourself as a well-rounded and social individual. Oliver reminded me of the Justin Sacco case, suggesting that it becomes easy for innocent displays on social profiles to become misinterpreted, so it may be more practical to separate these profiles, but this is dependent on the industry a person wants to work for. Oliver’s ideas were something I grew to agree with, as fundamentally employers will look for professionalism in your online profile before anything else.

With these reflections, I came to realise that I could benefit by improving my professional online identity, namely, by setting up a LinkedIn profile to advance my employment networks. Overall, this topic has helped me to understand the most important components of a professional online identity that will help me when applying for jobs after graduating.

Word count: 326

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Topic 3-Creating an Authentic online Proffesional profile

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.

Figure 1

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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.

Figure 2

Proffesional socail media

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.

Summary

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

References 

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

Images

Figure 1: self-made using Piktochart

Figure 2: self-made using Piktochart