Topic 3

Topic 3: Building a professional digital profile

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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.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962

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.

References:

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)

Bibliography:

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)

Word Count: 399

 

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5 thoughts on “Topic 3: Building a professional digital profile”

  1. Hi Oliver,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post. The importance you stressed in creating a personal brand in order to improve employment chances is certainly something I agree with, and which I emphasised strongly in my blog also. At the end of your post you mentioned that you believe you should separate you professional and personal profiles in order to prevent it hindering your employment prospects. However, do you not believe that if managed correctly your personal profile may add to your professional representation? In a competitive job market with hundreds of professional profiles available, wouldn’t you agree that a well maintained social media profile (Such as Facebook), may allow you to stand out from the crowd by presenting your social skills? I personally believe that by keeping these profiles completely separate you are losing a certain amount of authenticity and are actually lowering employment opportunities. I look forward to hearing what you think!
    Thanks, David
    Word count:157

    Like

    1. Hi David,

      Thank you very much for your comment and feedback. I believe that a personal profile can be included as part of your professional profile and although it will not always end up creating a scenario similar to that of Justine Sacco, I still think that the two would be better separated.

      Showing that you have social skills can come down to more than having friends and group pictures on Facebook. I believe that social skills can also be shown through the work that you do since this is what employers will be initially looking for. Granted, you will lose out a certain amount of authenticity but as long as it is managed properly there shouldn’t be all that much lost in keeping them separate.

      Furthermore, if you want to work in a particular industry that focuses primarily on being noticed, getting the word out and even advertising then the points that you have made would definitely be something to keep in mind and most likely follow. Most of the time it will depend on the industry you want to work for, so if it is a little bit more relaxed than some of the big city jobs then you don’t have to keep them separate.

      Let me know if you agree with this.

      Ollie

      Like

      1. Hi Ollie,
        I think you’re right. Due to the nature of online communication in the modern age it is so easy to misconstrue what people say on their personal and social profiles (As seen with the Justine Sacco case). A professional profile, however, allows more rigidity in what is being presented and therefore is potentially less easy to misinterpret. I do believe, however, that in order to set yourself aside from the crowd, your professional profile should contain social elements and non-occupational accomplishments, as this will truly make potential candidates stand out. This will, of course, depend on the competitiveness of the industry that you apply for as you stated.
        Thanks again, David

        Like

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