Regardless of whether you are just joining the professional scene or are already a part of it, having something that will make you instantly recognisable and makes you stand out from the crowd is essential. In the digital age, creating a professional online profile and building your ‘personal brand’ is quickly taking job hunting to a new level. So should you create one?
Below is a short video of why developing your personal brand is beneficial when trying to get a job.
When creating your profile you need to consider the image that you wish to portray, and usually the main element won’t change considerably between candidates so the details you add, or the ‘trimmings’ will be what sets you apart (Nissim, 2013). This can be done by demonstrating versatility in your hobbies and interests, which you can easily link to in your profile. So that blog or those graphics you’ve made for projects can add to your story.
Additionally, just like any CV you create, it will need updating and managing to make sure that it is authentic. There is no point creating a professional identity if employers do not trust it or if there are inconsistencies, the goal is to be as clear and concise as you can.
Therefore, choosing what to showcase, hold back and keep to yourself are things that need serious consideration and will only be obtainable through proper management of your online identities. One of the decisions that many forget about is what you are already showcasing without even realising, through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Ronson (2015) explores in his article, cases in which proper management between personal and professional profiles were ill-managed, in these instances, social media pressured firms which eventually lead to the loss of jobs. The infamous case of Justine Sacco, social media blew up after a tweet she had made began to go viral and even though Justine only had 170 followers, it became the number one trending topic on Twitter (#HasJustineLandedYet) during her 11 hour flight. This is still continuing today and is by no means the only case.
To avoid this, I would recommend separating your professional and personal profiles. It will stop employers from seeing drunk photos from your big night out and make them focus on the professional image you have put time into creating on LinkedIn or other professional platforms.
BBC news,. “Job hunting: How to promote yourself online” (2013) (Accessed 9th February)
Nissim, G. “How to build a professional digital profile” (2013) (Accessed 10th February)
Anon,. “How blogging can help you get a job” (2014) (Accessed 8th February)
Carruthers, R. “Managing your digital footprint” (2012) (Accessed 9th February)
Harris, L. “Using social media in your job search” (2014)
Jobvite,. “Social Recruiting Survey” (2014) (Accessed 10th February)
Ronson, J. “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life” (2015) (Accessed 6th February)
Tapscott, D. “Five ways talent management must change” (2014) (Accessed 7th February)
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