How to develop your authentic online professional profile

a0a870b5e56d66aee3dfaf6775197cdbFollowing topic two’s discussion of online identities, online presence is essentially the product of all of all of them. Statistics reveal that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruiting efforts (Jobvite, 2014). As career hungry second and final year students, we should be aiming to develop a professional online presence. In fact, in this video, Michael Weiss (2014) states that if we haven’t yet started developing this profile, we are already “late to the game”.

“With the use of social media, you can pretty much throw yourself at someone” (NymaFB_-_Job_Seeker_No_LinkedInn, 2014).

In this day and age, we are moving away from the CV and cover letter being the be all and end all of getting a job. But what great news! Realistically, while there is only so much we can get across on a CV, social media is our oyster for self-promotion and storytelling. Corinne Mills discusses how specific networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can boost our professional profile here.

So how do we go about developing this profile?

Be authentic

Ideally, we want our profile to stand out against hundreds of others. Socrates once said “To find yourself, think for yourself”. If we rely on the thoughts of others, we are just mimicking that person.  Our personal brand must be an honest and accurate representation of ourselves and something that we ourselves believe in.

Our authentic online professional profile is never a done job!

Blog away!

What’s a better way to be authentic than blogging? Blogging is an activity that some people (myself included) undervalue enormously. It provides a great opportunity to showcase our skills.  As explained in this article (2014), blogging demonstrates passion, dedication, motivation and creativity which are all traits that employers are on the lookout for.

Don’t stop there!

Your digital presence isn’t like handing in an essay you have spent a week on. We must, as Thomas Smale (2015) points out, remain ‘student[s] of [our] industry’ and keep relentlessly amending our profile with the goal of making it as up to date as possible.

In the following video, Amber Rose discusses steps to create a unique personal brand. I find step 5 particularly interesting; what are six words that describe you? I’d love to hear what my fellow bloggers choose for their six words!

My final point is that it is important, as Shama Hyder (2014) points out, that ‘every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand’. This means that it only takes a silly tweet or a controversial photo to damage your brand’s reputation; Justine Sacco and Walter Palmer both learnt this the hard way. Remember, what’s on the internet stays on the internet! We are in control of our authentic online professional profile and we should develop it wisely.

Word Count: 440


Hyder, S. (2014) 7 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Personal Brand, Forbes. Accessed 06/11/15 from

Jobvite (2014) Social Recruiting Survey. Accessed 06/11/15 from

Nyman, N. (2014) Using Social Media in your Job Search. Accessed 06/11/15 from

Rose, A. (2013) 5 Easy Steps to Create your own Personal Brand. Accessed 06/11/15 from

Smale, T. (2015) 5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand, Entrepreneur. Accessed 06/11/15 from

TheEmployable (2014) How blogging can help you get a job. Accessed 06/11/15 from

Weiss, M. (2013) Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Accessed 06/11/15 from


10 thoughts on “How to develop your authentic online professional profile

  1. Hi Lucy,

    I absolutely agree that when developing an online profile we should be authentic. I also think it’s a case of having a focus. It’s a good idea to keep in mind who your target audience is when presenting yourself. You wouldn’t have a LinkedIn profile focusing on your wood-working hobby while you try to get a job as a marketing manager. It’s okay to talk about your hobbies and interests, you want to come across as an interesting person, but it’s also important that your professional profile has focus.

    Your post was enjoyable to read and the idea of maintaining your online brand as you develop it is an essential thing to do which I’m glad you mentioned too. It’s pretty bad for a professional’s image to have an out-of-date profile.


    1. Hi Russell,

      Thank you for your comment! Both the links you directed me to were very useful.

      One idea I picked up from the first link is that while on our CVs we should only display jobs relevant to the position we are applying for, on our LinkedIn, we can include all of our jobs which show we have skills for many different positions. I think this is a great way for an employer to find out more about you before making contact.
      However, in the video I have linked to you below, Weiss states that we shouldn’t try to tell the entire story on our LinkedIn, we should simply provide enough information to wet the employer’s appetite. He even suggests that saying too much could put off a potential employer. It’s interesting how different employers have different opinions!




  2. Hi Lucy! Love your blog this week, it’s got information from lots of sources that I’ve found useful. I like your quote about throwing yourself at someone through social media: it’s very true that you can literally bombard people with yourself this way! I also like your ‘how to’ layout, and definitely agree with you about it’s important to create an online profile that truly reflects ourselves and what we believe in – you’ve captured the true meaning of authenticity here I think. As you say, as soon as we start copying others it becomes difficult to stand out from the crowd.

    I do think it’s quite difficult to be original now though; you quote Weiss as saying that we’re already ‘late to the game’ if we haven’t started yet. Everyone’s online doing new and exciting things; it’s hard to think of something exciting to do online, yet alone new I think. How would you be original do you think? I watched your video and I’ve been reflecting on my 6 words that I could use to describe myself and I’ll definitely include them in my reflective summary. Thanks for writing a blog post that has made me think about myself and how I can portray myself online!


    1. Hi Hannah,

      Thank you for your comment!
      I think that’s a great question: how would I be original?
      I think I would make use of my six words (which I am also including in my reflective summary) and demonstrate how I represent these words. I will expand on this question in my reflective summary.

      Looking forward to hearing your six words!



  3. Hey, Lucy

    This was a great read, your writing style is natural and fun while also being informative. I particularly liked the large number and variety of sources used – I think I can safely say that this is probably the first blog I’ve read that quoted Socrates.

    I definitely agree with having an online profile be authentic, employers need to know not just that you’ll do your job well, but also that you’ll be a good fit for the company your working for. Presenting a sort of clinical, fake ‘professional’ persona of yourself in your professional profile won’t give anybody a clue about who you are or whether you will mesh with the other employees and the company environment.

    All in all, a great post! I will definitely think about my 6 words!


    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your kind comments, I really appreciate it.
      What can I say? I was feeling philosophical when I wrote the post!

      I agree, I definitely think that your professional profile needs to be an honest representation of yourself but we must make a distinction between our hanging-out-with-our-friends selves and professional selves. This way, we can find this balance.

      Looking forward to hearing your six words!



  4. 09/10/2012i hope your move goes smoothly – the biggest hurdle should be people recreating their avatars, but with their IAR files it should only take a few seconds (just drag your folder of your base outfit, shape, and skin)James has been great for our 2+ years and i hope you experience the same satcafsition – truly top notch and great performance =)  


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