Developing Your Online Professional Profile

Increasingly the case for online employability is being brought forward and we need to take notice.

Social media gives both candidates and employers the chance to be more active in their job hunt (Holmes, 2012)

The use of certain social networks, like Twitter for example, did not emerge immediately as obvious professional environment – Twitter is said to be emerging as one of the best social networks used by companies to recruit new employees (Le Viet, 2014). In this post I am going to focus on LinkedIn but it must be noted that “conventional” recruitment processes may not always be appropriate.

LinkedIn is very widely used and is essential in the recruitment process for many businesses. The following video explains the importance of a LinkedIn presence for university graduates who are job-seeking. (Note the use of the controversial terms ‘native’ and ‘immigrant’ discussed previously in Topic 1 being used here relating to LinkedIn).

It’s important to tailor your LinkedIn (and other professional profiles) to the type of job and/or sector you want to work in, for example, having a short punchy opening line on your profile explaining your career goals. Relevance is key here to make sure your profile is attracting the right people (Holland, 2014).

Developing contacts and connections on LinkedIn is crucial to have a truly authentic profile.  Online professional profiles also allow people to link examples of their work or previous projects (theguardianjobs, 2011). As a language student, this is relevant because it’s easy to state your language level but more difficult to prove it unless you have a specific qualification or meet the employer in person. Having a blog/website/twitter account in which you write only in that language is a way to prove you have genuine skills on your online profile. So “interlinking” of different profiles is essential to ensure their authenticity (Comras, 2014).

LinkedIn Profile Tips:

  • Tailor your profile to suit your interests
  • Ambiguity will not work in your favour – Ask yourself – Could it be interpreted in different ways?
  • Contacts and Connections – are they relevant to your field?
  • Link other relevant profiles and/or projects

Above all, the message is: make the most of the online tools which we have readily available to us and be open to different processes of recruitment. By ensuring that we have a professional presence on multiple online platforms, we are not only creating an authentic profile for ourselves, but we are also making sure that our presence will not be missed by anyone – no matter which platform they use.

Sources:

Blank, H. (2013). Why College Students Need to Get Into Linkedin. YouTube.

Comras, M. (2014). Curating your Online Profile. Neil’s Recruitment Co.

Holland, M. (2014). Six tips for managing your professional online profile. Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Holmes, R. (2012). How Social Media Is Making Job Hunting Better – For Candidates and Companies. Hootsuite.

Le Viet, S. (2014). Twitter’s Redesign Makes the Platform Ripe for Recruitment. Mashable, Business.

Why online CVs are essential in your job search. (2011). the guardian jobs.

 

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10 thoughts on “Developing Your Online Professional Profile

  1. Hi,
    Your blog was useful in that it referred back to topics previously discussed about using the web. The video was also an interesting break and described the benefits of LinkedIn in a more direct way. It may have been useful to also provide examples of the way in which you personally use your LinkedIn account to present yourself to employers.
    I was also wondering whether you think that it is still important to retain some level of privacy even when using a site such as LinkedIn, for the topic we discussed last week about online identity was looking very much into protecting oneself online. Do you believe it is easy to remain safe online and still create an authentic profile?

    1. Thanks for your comments and you make a good point about personal examples so I will try to incorporate more of that in future. In answer to your question, it’s definitely something interesting to consider in relation to the previous topic and honestly, yes I do believe we can retain our privacy on such sites. We are still in control of what information we share and can easily change privacy and access settings without dramatically altering our profile. Whether we should or not is obviously a different question and that comes down to personal preference but I think the emphasis largely is (and should be) on our own choices about the information which we share online.

  2. Hellooo,

    I completely agree with you in terms of using LinkedIn and the significant advantages it has for employability purposes.

    However, your profile needs a lot of attention and care in order to make such an impact online.The robust nature of the site means that there are many resources to navigate through e.g. making connections. This can be quite tricky if you have many social platforms you are apart of and need to be up to scratch with. So, would you say it’d be easier to have one or two social profiles- ones which you are constantly updating and refining, as opposed to several which you cannot invest all your time into? Personally, I think one or two- including LinkedIn.

    Thanks,

    Freya

    1. Hi Freya,

      You make an interesting point actually and it’s difficult to answer because whilst focusing on only a few networks you may be able to build up a stronger, more meaningful presence. However, you may need to consider that the employer you are targeting may primarily use the networks that you haven’t invested your time in. I would tend to agree with you on this point though, as it’s becoming more and more clear that we can easily interlink our sites in order to gain maximum exposure to possible connections.

      Thanks for your comments,

      Pippa

  3. Hi Pippa,

    You made an interesting point on how being concise is important when it comes to presenting yourself online. Some people online would go to extreme measures to twist other’s words to create drama. Have you ever had any personal experiences in which your social media interactions or opinions have been misinterpreted in a bad way intentionally or not?

    1. Hi,

      Personally, I cannot think of anything too drastic that has been misinterpreted but I know that any text based interaction online or otherwise can sometimes have this effect. This is why we need to take time and care in order to ensure that our interactions (especially those in a professional manner) could not be taken the wrong way.

      How about yourself, has this situation happened for you?

      Pippa

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