Topic Three: Professional Digital Profiles

The obvious benefits we may think of the Web would be making our weekly shop easier with online groceries or binge-watching the latest and greatest TV shows on Netflix, but perhaps one of the most important aspects is the opportunity it gives individuals to share,  present, or showcase themselves in an ever-competitive and increasingly-skilled workforce.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 13.08.59
Statistic (and image) from Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014 Report

For example, Jobvite revealed in their Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014 that 69% of recruiters expected competition to increase in 2015. The same survey also states that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media to do so.

So it would be fair to say that without a good online presence you would be leaving yourself out of a wide range of opportunities, which is backed up in a blog post by Nik Nyman at Neil’s Recruitment, who says that “77% of all job postings are posted on LinkedIn and almost half of those don’t get posted anywhere else”.

I’ll now present some ways in which I think you can develop an authentic online profile and more than just that, make it stand out from the crowd.


Profiles

LinkedIn is a purpose-built online resumé that you can use to display all the information that employers would need to know about you before hiring you: the things you would put on your CV like education, previous employment, volunteering etc. It is important to keep this profile up-to-date as potential new employers could be looking at any time, whether or not you have applied to a specific job. Below is a slideshow I created to demonstrate an ‘All-Star’ LinkedIn profile.

Twitter as a social network is of a different ilk to LinkedIn in that it is not built as a professional network but can certainly be used as such. To ensure your Twitter is presenting you in the best light consider using it to mix both your personal and professional interests. Post and interact with people and posts that are related to your chosen field to show that you have an interest and passion in current industry going-ons. If you feel uncomfortable with mixing your personal and professional opinions make a separate private profile for yourself where the public may not see your private posts the you still wish to post.

Facebook I consider to be a different breed of social media platform, although used by 66% of recruiters (Jobvite) in their assessment. My opinion is that Facebook is very personal and posts should not be censored as they may be on more public sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. This presents a problem of potentially compromising content working against you. However, the site has powerful privacy controls per post that many overlook that can ensure that you can freely express yourself within your private circles and make only the ones you choose publicly available.


Blogging/ Online Portfolio

The value of blogging has been shown by many people in their blogs and is perhaps one of the best ways to demonstrate to employers many different aspects about you. As this topics has been covered a lot I will not talk about it much but link to a very enlightening blog article from TheEmployable that in summary states that blogging suggests passion, dedication, motivation, creativity and as I mentioned about Twitter (a sort of micro-blogging) demonstrates a current understanding of a subject or field.


Community websites

Something that may be most revenant only to those in technical fields is having a good rapport on sites such as Stack Overflow, a community of many millions of programmers who ask and answer questions about programming that is not only very helpful but allows you to showcase your expertise which looks excellent to employers. This follows the idea of ‘paying it forward’ which is good (expand).


Synthesise on about.me

To bring everything all together, creating a profile on About.Me acts like a digital business card linking to all the different parts of you on the Web.

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 13.52.35
My About.Me profile page linking to my different online profiles.

References

Jobvite (2014), 2014 Social Recruiting Survey (Accessed on 13/03/2016 at https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf)

TheEmpoyable (2014), How blogging can help you get a job, (Accessed on 13/03/2016 at http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/)

Nick Nyman (2014), Using social media in your job search, Guest blog post on Web Science MOOC Blog, (Accessed on 13/03/2016 at http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/)

Featured image from Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Big_Four_29038u_original.jpg

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10 thoughts on “Topic Three: Professional Digital Profiles

  1. Hi Clayton!
    This is a very well-written and comprehensive post, thanks for sharing how you developed your LinkedIn page, it was easy to understand and follow for someone who is completely new to LinkedIn!
    You touched upon separating personal and professional profiles which was discussed in the previous topic, by doing this how can you ensure that you look authentic?

    Also, you mentioned Facebook to be personal, but with the Facebook Business pages surely you can separate your personal and professional lives (again similar to topic 2)? However there are obvious drawbacks to Facebook as proposed by Derek Muller (curator of Veritasium) as sometimes you may only see a fraction of posts from a page you may have liked or person/business you may follow. Would you ever use Facebook in the future to promote your business/yourself, similar to my PT friend has (as I’ve mentioned on my blog)?

    You also mentioned Twitter as a micro-blogging site which demonstrates understanding of the field – I completely agree with this, and I follow someone close to my fields of interests who does just that to raise awareness of current political and social issues affecting medicine, i.e. the Junior doctor strike (see: https://twitter.com/traumagasdoc) . Do you follow anyone influential like that?

    Here’s the reference: Paul Szoldra, 2014. Blogger nails a major problem with Facebook’s Newsfeed. Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/blogger-facebook-newsfeed-2014-1?IR=T
    Shriya

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    1. Hi Shriya, thanks for reading my post and for your comment.

      In regards to your question as to how you can stay authentic by separating your personal and professional profiles online, it is my opinion that no authenticity needs to be lost in the process. The example that I was thinking of would be authentic profiles (that represent your ‘true’ identity) but just different access privileges – for example my Twitter is public to the world but parts of my Facebook are private to only those I accept as a friend, so although I mask parts of that identity it is still authentic, still me.

      With the Facebook Business pages, yes those are completely separate from the personal profiles so I would have no worry about using those (I have before) as the business page has no indication of who’s personal profile owns it.

      I follow a lot of different people on my Twitter, from personal to professional, general news and special interest. I like how you can engage with people with the same interests all over the world! Follow me at @thisisclayton!

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  2. Hi Clayton,

    Your slideshare included some great tips on how to make a well-rounded and detailed LinkedIn profile in order to prove to employers. I liked that you evidenced these tips with your profile and explained how you were able to an internship because of this. Your tips inspired me to do some updates to my own profile, especially regarding the volunteer section, which as a LinkedIn ‘all-star’ I hope you’ll approve of!

    I do however question your point that Facebook should be personal and therefore no effort should be made into monitoring your professionalism on there. I don’t believe that a personal profile can ever be fully ‘hidden’ from employers and so therefore I think it is important to treat every social platform with the same professional nature. Justine Sacco is a case that I think you may feel insightful and may potentially change your views. I would be intrigued to see how you feel about personal profiles you mention such as Facebook after reading it?

    My LinkedIn featuring changes: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/hollytripp1

    Justine Sacco Case: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=2

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    1. Hi Holly,

      Thanks for your comments, I am glad you found my LinkedIn guide helpful and hopefully you are successful through updating yours too.

      I think I misrepresented slightly my opinion on monitoring professionalism on Facebook. I did not mean to say that no effort whatsoever should be made, but I do still hold the belief that it is not a place that you should need such an intense professionalism focus as on others. The site exists as a network for friendships and a place you can be yourself evident through its affordance of sharing our most intimate moments with people, through statuses and photos etc.
      The service offers very extensive and I think straightforward privacy controls down to each individual post which can ensure that no-one outside of who you accept as a friend is able to see anything you don’t want them to. For example, when making a post I choose whether I mark it as public (something I may do if it relates to an interest I might want to share with someone ‘snooping’ at Facebook) or just for friends (like a photo from a holiday or trip). Obviously the only way this can work is if people only accept friends that they are happy to see the posts they put up.
      I think it differs from the Justine Sacco case in that Twitter is inherently public and the thought had not passed her mind that just because she had a small number of followers that others extra to those could still see the tweet she posted. Facebook however is as I said intended as a private network, with possibilities of making certain things public.

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  3. Hi Clayton! I was shocked when I read during researching for the writing of my blog post that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media – if that doesn’t show the importance of maintaining a professional online profile then I don’t know what will. The slideshow made for a great informative and interactive point of the blog, and it did in fact remind me of a few missing pieces of my LinkedIn puzzle such as a need to add my ‘projects’, so thank you! You do mention the problem of compromising content being used against you when it comes to recruitment, which made me wonder, have you looked into the issue of online shaming that can arise when even the least harmfully meant content is taken out of context? It’s something I touched on in my blog post, but here’s a link to a TED Talks video I think you’ll enjoy https://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_what_happens_when_online_shaming_spirals_out_of_control?language=en Hope you find this useful in developing an understanding as to when the use of social media can suddenly back-fire!

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