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