Developing a professional online profile

Today more than ever, it is vital that we have a professional online presence given that

“80% of employers Google job seekers before inviting them into an interview!” (Joyce, 2014)

This percentage certainly shocked me and got me thinking, what is the best way to create an authentic professional online presence and self-brand ourselves to attract potential employers…

So let’s start with the most obvious platform to attract, interact and connect with millions of professionals  : LinkedIn. An article on the Guardian aimed at students explains that ‘a LinkedIn profile is your chance to build a positive online presence for yourself,’ (Burch, 2013) and this is where I personally started when creating my own professional identity.

The video below produced by LinkedIn succinctly summarises how to use the platform to successfully network with professionals in your desired field of work… and humorously reminds us that LinkedIn is not just for old people with heavy briefcases

But is LinkedIn the Best and Only option for creating a professional presence?

Twitter also acts as the perfect platform to connect and engage with companies and industry figures. Twitter is ideal for interacting with companies you are interested in, as its ‘openness…shocases your talents, personality, style and interests'(Hartwig,2013). I personally use Twitter to follow PR and Marketing companies as I am interested in these industries and really appreciate the fact that you can engage with anyone on any level (from intern to CEO) at the company – it’s so vital to build up a rapport!

Moreover, Twitters’ new format and extra features such as pinned Tweets and Best Tweets allow job seekers to paint a more accurate picture of their ‘professionalism, skills sets and interests’ (Le Viet, 2014) and it is understandably emerging as one of the best social networks for both the creation of a professional online profile and for job searching.

Mashable

Twitter redesign aids job seekers, Mashable 2014

Here are some top tips for creating a professional online profile:

LinkedIn:

  • Showcase what makes YOU special
  • Have an updated profile with all your relevant experience
  • Include a professional photo
  • Connect to others with a purpose (Steimle, 2013)
  • Share regularly and wisely (Halzack, 2013)

Twitter:

  • Showcase what makes YOU special
  • Be distinctive
  • Professional profile photo
  • Share and RT content you are genuinely interested in
  • Follow companies / individuals in industries you want to work in
  • Show your personality – keep your audience in mind!

Bring all your profiles together via the platform About.me – to really showcase yourself to employers and get your professional profile noticed.

(406 words)

Sources

Burch. K, Students: how to use LinkedIn at uni to help you get a job when you graduate. The Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/dec/30/linkedin-tips-for-students-employability [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Hartwig. E, How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource, Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2013/02/09/twitter-job-search/ [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Halzack. S, Tips for using LinkedIn to find a job, Washington Post. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/tips-for-using-linkedin-to-find-a-job/2013/08/01/7c50c418-e0ff-11e2-8ae9-5db15d3c0fca_story.html [Accessed 9/11/2014]

LinkedIn, LinkedIn for Students: Your Career Starts Here. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWp6AN00D_c [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Le Viet. S, Twitter’s Redesign Makes the Platform Ripe for Recruitment. Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2014/04/21/twitter-redesign-recruitment/ [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Joyce. S,What 80% Of Employers Do Before Inviting You For An Interview. Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-p-joyce/job-search-tips_b_4834361.html [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Steimle. J, Top 3 Tips From a LinkedIn Expert. Forbes. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2013/08/07/top-3-tips-from-a-linkedin-expert/ [Accessed 9/11/2014]

Featured Image: http://pearsonstudents.com/blog/clean-it-up-how-social-media-can-make-or-break-your-job-search/

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Developing a professional online profile

  1. I found it helpful that you broke down the ways to create a professional online profile; both on a social and professional networks. In particular, your social and professional examples of Twitter and LinkedIn, highlighted the importance of maintaining a professional presentation of yourself across all platforms. While I hadn’t thought about this prior to my own blog research, it was evident that as future employees we are “likely to experience a collision of professional and personal identities”. So, could this be prevented? Or is it inevitable, because of the nature of our networks and interactions?

    Also, you began by stating that LinkedIn is regarded as the most obvious professional platform to “attract, interact and connect with millions”. While I would also agree, it was surprising to see PotentialPark’s Survey (2011) that authentic and professional development is ‘expected’ to happen in LinkedIn, however, Facebook is where is ‘actually’ happens. From your point of view, why might this be happening? And, could social networks be the ‘new’ professional network?

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    • HI Catherine,

      Thanks for your comment. I am equally surprised to read that Facebook is seen as the platform where connections are actually made and developed. In my own opinion, this is happening owing to the fact that employers want to be sure that we are authentic, well-rounded individuals and want to gain a glimpse at the real user and assess whether the personality expressed on this social platform is one which will fit with the company’s values. However, as we have seen in previous weeks, we can very much tailor our online identity – particularly on Facebook, by choosing what content is made public, and this is something which employers will take into account. In answer to your next question, in my opinion yes, Social media networks could be the ‘new’ professional network. This is owing to the redesign of platforms like Twitter as I mentioned in my blog, which are increasingly used on both a personal and professional level.

      Like

  2. Lucy,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog, and found that your video demonstrating how to use LinkedIn was much more useful than anything I could find on the web.

    I also agree entirely that your online professional profile should extend beyond the formal, job-seeking based website and reach your own social networks, like Twitter. I was interesting to read your description on how Twitter can now be used as a job-seeking tool to interact with employers, as I myself had only really considered social networks as tools to make myself more searchable and visible on Google, in the context of job-seeking.

    My curiosity was piqued by your discussions surrounding Twitter and social networks. Do you feel that Facebook has an equally as important role to play in developing an online professional profile, or is it more a case of ensuring privacy setting are as such that nothing embarrassing or damaging can be seen by curious employers? In my blog I stress the importance of maintaining a professional online presence on social media as well as on sites such as LinkedIn, due to the increasing trend of employer’s googling prospective employees. Is this something you think about when you post something on Twitter or are tagged in a photo on Facebook? Do you think ‘how would an employer view that’?

    Let me know,

    Adam

    Like

    • Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your comment and for your questions! I personally feel that Facebook is very much orientated towards socialising and friendship groups / family, and my use of the social networking site reflects this as I have very high privacy settings and always go by the rule of not posting anything that I wouldn’t want my parents to see. This rule applies for any photos tagged of me etc and therefore in a way I am hopefully ensuring that my profile is as professional as possible in a personal sphere. However, I do agree that it is important to always consider that employers could be googling your online accounts and accessing further information about you – which is something I always bear in mind with what I share and the exact reason why I have such high privacy settings.

      On Twitter however, I actively use the site to connect with companies and employers I am interested in and therefore deliberately use the social network to boost my professional profile. I even include the type of career I am looking for in my bio and my tweets are all related to the PR / Advertising industry – it is therefore used in a much more professional rather than personal way.

      Thanks,

      Lucy

      Like

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