Reflective Summary: Authentic Professional Profiles

I thought that this weeks topic linked very well with last weeks. I also have an authentic professional online profile and therefore had some understand on how to build one. After reading the statistics included on most other blog posts, having an online professional profile is extremely important. I assumed that a lot of people would already have a profile because of this. This is why I focused more on how to make that profile ‘authentic’ in my post.

Joe’s comment on my blog was really thought provoking and seemed to summarise my thoughts on the topic. Joe asked whether or not there ‘authenticity’ was different between real life and online. In a professional sense, I do feel like I would filter myself in real life around management in the same way that I would filter my online profile. However, I do think it’s a lot easier to do this online with the help of privacy settings.

I noticed that Zac had also mentioned removing certain images from his Facebook profile. I questioned him similarly on this, to see if he thought that now those images had been deleted that his profile was still as ‘authentic’. He rightly pointed out that the pictures that he had left on his profile were still him. So yes, his online professional profile would still be authentic but perhaps just more controlled.

I found Hei’s blog post interesting, where her research found that a 10 second snapshot is all we have to make an impression. When referring this back to my research, I wonder whether or not this also would have an impact on authenticity. Surely, if we only have 10 seconds we have to do something to get noticed and present ourselves in the best way possible. Therefore, again we may leave out some aspects of ourselves.

I think it’s still debatable as to whether we can really build an online profile that is both authentic and professional. Whilst it is still a representation of us, it may not document every part of us.

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Best of the bunch or authentic?

Having an online professional profile in today’s society is essential. 94% of all recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates (Harris, 2014), meaning that without a profile you are extremely unlikely to be found by the HR department of your dream job.

So, how DO you build an online professional profile?

blog-wordle

I created a wordle with all of the key terms that I came across in my research. Each word represents an important point to consider when building an online professional profile. For example: Peter Bowes (2013) explains that it is important to differentiate ourselves from other candidates. In the same way as we would want our CV to stand out in the pile, our online professional profile must be engaging.

One article suggests that a blog can ‘make you a little different from everyone else’ (The Employable, 2014). Before UOSM2033 I hadn’t considered starting a blog. Now that I do, I have the start of a professional portfolio that I can show to potential employers. In our introductory lecture, it was mentioned that a previous pupil had actually got a job offer due to her blog. So, there’s always hope!

However, I do think that building an ‘authentic’ profile is the tricky part here. The best example that I read to illustrate this, was F.A.K.E. Anyone can create a convincing profile with a list of achievements and qualifications, but how do we know its genuine? My first thoughts on this, was a sketch from Friends, whilst the CV is not online it still conveys the point. 

Linking back to last weeks topic, I suggested that there is a difference in content between the same individual’s personal and professional profiles. It’s very unlikely that someone would post their pictures from a night out onto their professional profile. Therefore, can a profile ever really be fully authentic? Yes it’s still us, but its a version of us that we want other people to see. 

A guide on how NOT to do it:

References:

Admin (2014) ‘How blogging can help you get a job’, 28 October. Available at: http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ (Accessed: 8 November 2016).
Bowes, P for BBC (2013) Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 (Accessed: 8 November 2016).
Buckfield, H. (2016) ‘Online identity’, UOSM2033 Living and Working on the Web, 27 October. Available at: https://hannahbuckfield.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/online-identity/ (Accessed: 10 November 2016).
Harris, L. (2014) ‘Using social media in your job search – web science MOOC’, Economy, 13 March. Available at: http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/ (Accessed: 8 November 2016).
Hill, K. (2015) I created a fake business and bought it an amazing online reputation. Available at: http://fusion.net/story/191773/i-created-a-fake-business-and-fooled-thousands-of-people-into-thinking-it-was-real/ (Accessed: 10 November 2016).
Listopedia (2013) 5 tweets that got people fired. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTghF6s8wB8 (Accessed: 8 November 2016).
Why Not from Friends (2007) Joey’s resume. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZxsxaFJ3YQ (Accessed: 11 November 2016).