Topic 3 -Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed.

Last week’s topic looked at the positives and negatives of having multiple online identities, which links nicely to this week’s topic. I think it is fair to say that anyone can have an online profile but it takes more time and effort to create an authentic online professional profile.

The trail you leave online (also known as your ‘digital footprint’) gives a surprising amount of information about yourself. After watching this video I googled my name and where I am from. My results are shown below.


This semester I have started my search for a placement for next year. Immediately after sending off my first application I felt the need to amp up the security settings on all of my social networking sites to ensure anything that may have been deemed as unprofessional was hidden from potential employers. The above results show just how easy it is for an employer to find you online and quickly make a decision based on how you market yourself.

Thankfully I changed my privacy settings after applying for my placement as there are many horror stories about employers stumbling across pictures deemed as inappropriate on Facebook, or even inappropriate tweets. An example being Ashley Payne who posted a picture of herself with a glass of wine and pint of beer whilst on holiday on her Facebook. She lost her job.

Jobvite’s statistics show that a huge percentage of employers (94%) use LinkedIn to search, contact, keep tabs on and vet candidates, 66% use Facebook and 52% use Twitter. These statistics alone show the importance of having an authentic online professional profile which markets you appropriately across different platforms. Think how many opportunities could be missed by neglecting the importance of your professional profile!

What mistakes are made when making an authentic online professional profile?

This video shows you what to avoid, but…

What can you do to develop an authentic online professional profile?


I have made this spider diagram to illustrate some of the things I feel are important when developing a professional profile.

It is clear that the times are changing and it is no longer a case of handing over a CV. I have noticed that different companies have many different ways of distinguishing between candidates, for example NEXT requires an online assessment as well as a CV. Other companies such as Asos allow candidates to apply for jobs via their Linkedin pages. LinkedIn is extremely important and when properly used can be an extremely beneficial way of promoting yourself. Below are some important tips when creating a LinkedIn page which will help to establish a well presented and professional profile. It could even be the deciding factor of landing that job you want.


CBS North Carolina (2016) Your professional online profile. Available at: Last Accessed 9 November 2016

Daily Mail Reporter (2011) Mail Online. Available at: Last Accessed 9 November 2016

Edmond, D. (2014) Optimize your LinkedIn profile with these 10 key elements. Available at: Last Accessed 10 November 2016

Jobvite (2014) Social recruiting survey. Available at: Last Accessed 7 November 2016

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. Available: Last accessed 9 November 2016

References for spider diagram

Bowes. P. (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Available: Last accessed 9 November 2016

The Employable. (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. Available: Last accessed 9 November 2016

Washington and Lee University (no date) Developing your online image. Available at: Last accessed 10 November 2016


9 thoughts on “Topic 3 -Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed.

  1. Hi Emma,

    I enjoyed reading your blog for this topic. The embedded images, slides, videos and diagrams all made it easier to take on board information and your opinions. I agree that profiles on websites like LinkedIn are becoming “the modern CV” but was shocked to find out about ASOS employing through this method alone. Do you think in the future an employer could learn enough from a candidate’s online profile to employ based on that alone? In my opinion online personality tests are not a very good way of seeing if a candidate is fit for a job as people will automatically change their views to suit what they think the employer wants; this is why I feel face to face interviews are much more effective. Interesting to see you are from Ashtead too as I am from Epsom, what a small world.



    • Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Personally I think online profiles are a good starting point as it gives everyone the opportunity to present themselves in the best possible way. However using online profiles alone would mean that whole face to face element wouldnt exist. How can you really get a feel for a person without meeting them? I also think that by having it completely online may encourage people to exaggerate.

      I agree with you that online personality tests are not a good way of seeing if a candidate is fit for a job. I can imagine people are very tempted to change their answers based on what they think they should do in that situation.



  2. Hi Emma,

    Your blog post was a very good read! The use of diagrams, slideshare and embedded Youtube videos backed the points you were trying to make and gave your post real substance.

    I particularly enjoyed the addition of your own personal experiences of creating an online profile yourself, and the steps you took to create it. I also searched my name on google to put myself in the employer’s shoes and to see what they would be able to view. I also strongly agree with the point you stated of the importance of managing your privacy settings online as this can have a huge backlash as you stated.

    I also agree that sites like LinkedIn are becoming the “new CV”. From my own research I have found that this now becoming the most common way of employers recruiting into their businesses. Would you agree that online profiles both benefit businesses and the new generation that are growing up in this new digital era?



    • Thank you for your comment.

      I think that online profiles benefit businesses and it has now become a necessity if you want to be successful. It makes finding employees easier and helps to screen them more quickly to see if they meet the criteria they are looking for.

      I also think that the new generation do benefit from online profiles to an extent, however, it makes it increasingly difficult to stand out. As Will mentioned in his blog post, if everyone has the same advantage is it really an advantage?



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