Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed
In an ever digitising present the world of employment is quickly moving online. The issue for a budding prospect at University is the rest of existence is following suit with socialising, shopping and entertainment transferring to the net. As a result, dissecting one’s personal and professional profile is no longer the case of changing from jeans into a suit. Instead, the two spheres are linked by twitter handles and Facebook pages, an issue which brings opportunity both for failure and success.
Building a successful online profile is comparable to playing cards with potential employers: although it’s important to play your aces, there are some jokers you’d much rather keep close to your chest. The latter here translates to ensuring potentially off-putting photos, posts and videos are out of reach of future bosses. Even for the non-‘tech savvy’ employers of the world, Googling potential prospects is an immediate way of delving into the person behind a paper CV with a survey by Jobvite in 2010 finding that 92% of companies who were actively hiring in the next year planned to use social media in their employee search (http://davidhallsocialmedia.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/jobvite-2010-social-recruiting-report_2.pdf). 4 years on this number will be higher, while equally social media’s influence has grown and intruded more significantly. Hence, keeping potentially embarrassing items off the net entirely or at very least behind the safety of privacy settings is crucial for an online professional profile.
With the jokers taken care of, it’s now a case of laying your best cards down and presenting yourself in the best possible light. This translates to dynamic and consistent activity on the net to build a representative picture of what is unique and appealing about the candidate. The internet provides a wealth of opportunity on how best to go about this, but for me personally blogging and microblogging provide the best opportunities. The power of twitter is in its concise limitations of 140 characters where a person’s understanding and opinion all have to come across in a small package. Seeing posts relating to the profession indicate both a genuine interest and a sense of engagement with the sector outside of just one company. Employers will need no more than 5 minutes to consume an individual’s last 30 tweets, and in this they could be convinced one way or another. As for blogging (and indeed vlogging for those who are apt in the practice of new media), having a portfolio of interesting and entertaining work in the shape of a blog will create a single location to direct employers who want a full impression. Cover letters aside, there is little opportunity on a CV to shine outside of empirical achievement. Hence the blog can be seen as the heart of an online professional, giving a face to grades and pass achievements.
As for the CV, when discussing online employment there is one website which is universally utilised as the hub of the jobs market: LinkedIn. Put simply, LinkedIn should serve as both the administration of a professional online profile (i.e. contact details, education details etc.) and as a hub for the rest of it by providing links to twitter, blogs and any other online asset. The best LinkedIn pages are accurate, precise and to the point to give a fast first impression to potential employers. From here, those who are interested can be navigated away from LinkedIn to get a full impression of their respective candidate. Hence maintaining all aspects of an online professional profile to a high standard is crucial to creating the overall impression which is intended, with each playing a specific role in the process of becoming noticed and employed.
Finally, on the idea of making a profile authentic, being truthful and original in thought are the two key aspects. The latter should be especially true while blogging and tweeting with issues of plagiarism potentially being lethal to an individual’s chances of success. Outside of being fraudulent, passing off someone elses work for your own is immoral and the sort of practise which undermines the whole point of an online profile: identity. To a degree, this also means going beyond tweeting every relevant article with a bland comment on the piece being good. Authenticity stems from original thought and as I’ve detailed there should be plenty of this as a part of a strong online profile.
Wall Street Journal article on Twitter’s role in employment: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323820304578412741852687994?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424127887323820304578412741852687994.html
A blog by David Hall on managing your online reputation: http://davidhallsocialmedia.com/2011/02/02/reputationmanagement/
Individuals who may never get a job again thanks to racist Obama orientated tweets: http://jezebel.com/5958993/racist-teens-forced-to-answer-for-tweets-about-the-nigger-president
A voluntary weekly article at PWTorch I got through having a strong online profile: http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/The_Specialists_34/article_76807.shtml#.Ux1wofl_vuU