About Me

Thursday, 6 March 2014

#UOSM2008 - Topic 3 - Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed.

Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed.

There are various ways that an authentic profile can be developed. In my opinion the most effective way to build an authentic worthwhile profile is on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a great resource as the majority of services on it are there to help you build an identity that looks the part for employers, as well as highlighting key skills through the use of endorsements e.g. communication skills.

For example it encourages users to upload CV’s to their profile, and read relevant news articles about your desired industry. This directed further reading that you can do around your profile will definitely help when it comes to interviews and assessment centres, as the articles are relevant and up to date.

However building an online authentic online profile cannot be done with a single service. In order to build a complete profile you need to use a variety of services with a consistent set of goals to portray the image you want.

A twitter account can be very useful to enhance a professional profile; it can even be linked with LinkedIn by using the #in. You can use them in harmony to post about useful links, or articles online that interest you. Employers find this appealing, as it shows a real interest in the industry.

An interesting statistic that I found relevant to this topic is that 75% of HR departments are now required to screen job requirements online. [2] I thought this figure would be high, but not this high. Employers are also reported to be more worried if they don’t find anything about you on the web.

Did you have any online presence 10 years ago?

The importance of the profile being the best is can be, is due to the fact that competition for jobs is now on a global scale. [3]

15 years ago a job application would have involved posting your CV to your employer’s physical location. Now application forms are done online, often before a CV is required. After these stage is when online profiles will be scanned.

The research completed by JISC also mentioned the blurring between “’real’ and ‘virtual’, public and private”.[3]

This is a danger that we have to look out for, as more and more people are blurring these lines, especially public and private. Users posting all 500 of their holiday photos on Facebook is fine, but you have to remember that everyone can see these, and that maybe certain photos would be better kept private.

Personal View

If like me you’ve already got LinkedIn and Twitter accounts the current issue is maintaining these profiles in a professional manner, and at the same time not blurring the private and public lines.

This YouTube video highlights how in years to come this could be the undoing of our future career paths. [1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2bniFJigI0\

Personally I let my Facebook profile go a little as the privacy settings are set so that only friends can see my information. As I primarily use this service for social interaction.


In conclusion building an authentic online professional profile is a constant process. It is not possible to complete it, and in order to benefit from having one (job prospects) new content must be professionally written and updated at regular intervals.

[2] Cross tab Marketing Services Survey – In Lisa Harris PowerPoint


  1. Hi Tim!

    Great blog post! I like how you began with Linkedin - I have currently been searching for internships and Linkedin proved to be a valuable tool in terms of finding placements, connecting with employers, finding out more company information, etc. Twitter was also a vital tool and kept me up to date with relevant company information. Do you think these platforms will still be used as frequently in the future, let's say 5/10 years? Or do you think they could be replaced?

    This article suggest Google + and even MySpace are on the rise.. What do you think? http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/09/24/the-top-7-social-media-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2014/

    You mentioned the blurring lines between publicity and privacy online and with more employers searching for us on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, it's becoming more and more important to ensure we are posting appropriate and relevant content online. However, I personally think employers want to see you with a strong online presence on these social networks. They want to see you developing your online brand in a social context as well as a professional one to prove you know how to appropriately be a signal in the online and offline world of work. An interesting article that agrees with this.. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/student-life/9724871/Why-tipsy-Facebook-photos-beat-no-online-presence-at-all.html

    Great video - clearly demonstrates the impacting challenges the digital world is enforcing upon us!

  2. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for your kind feedback; I think the three main platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) will continue to exist. I think it’s also a possibility that there will be a new service, as different areas tend to be targeted with each new service. On the other hand the technology industry is moving so quickly there is no guarantee of anything these days.

    Thank you for the link to this interesting article, after reading the article my views on Google+ have not really changed, in that I think it’s a great service but ‘not cool’ enough to catch on to the mass market. G-mail is an excellent e-mail client, but not everyone uses it. In my opinion MySpace’s time has come and gone, a rebrand is pointless and they would have been better off changing the name and asking customers to switch service.

    You make interesting points about employers wanting to see both social and professional side, I think your absolutely right in that employers would find it odd to not find anything at all.

  3. Hi Tim!

    I really enjoyed reading your blog, you have a great writing style! It was really clear and informative. You highlighted the progression that professional profiling and job applications have made in the last 10 years ago, something I have never really considered before – so thank you for extending my own understanding!

    You have spoken about LinkedIn quite a lot. I would like to know what advice you would offer individuals starting their own account. What precautions should someone take to ensure their LinkedIn is authentic? How important is authenticity to maintain an effective online professional profile? I’d recommend reading our classmate Kaya’s blog http://kayastefferud.wordpress.com/. Her blog offers great information on authenticity to aid your opinion.

    I think authenticity is vital to operate an effective online personal profile, as recruiters will quickly see if you cannot live up to your ‘attributes’. If authenticity isn’t integral to online recruitment, then the whole system becomes flawed. A balance has to attained between marketing yourself effectively and untruthful boasting.

    Let me know your opinion! I look forward to reading your next blog :)

    1. Hi Evie,

      Thanks for your kind feedback; I’m glad that you found my post clear and easy to read.

      With regards to your questioning about LinkedIn, I think it’s important to be truthful at all times, but you can put spin on what you have done and draw out key skills from your experiences. As this is the only way you are going to attract employers. There is no point making stuff up as this will be recognised quickly and you will be worse off because of it. This relates directly to your point about marketing yourself effectively and untruthful boasting.

      Thanks again for your comment