Topic 3: Keeping It Authentic and Professional

Traditionally, CVs were the primary approach in how individuals applied for jobs. However, due to the increasingly digital age, changes in technology have shifted the process in how employers hire candidates. One of these methods is social media, described by Hunter (2015) as a ‘social CV.’ I have produced an infographic which highlights key statistics from Jobvite (2014) on how employers recruit employees.

new-piktochart_20927333_85c17a23802aa3a74633b8b22d6fcdac185a6ecd

Figure 1. Professional online profile (self-produced via Piktochart, statistics from Jobvite, 2014).

Authenticity and Marketing

According to Kadlac (2017), an individual who possesses an authentic online identity is genuine and able to present evidence of their identity. Maintaining authenticity is crucial for employability as employers actively monitor the digital footprints of candidates to find the most suitable one (Carruthers, 2012). Carelessly managing your professional online profiles can lead to serious implications, as seen in Sacco’s case.

Figure 2. Authenticity and professional profiles (self-produced via Google Slides).

Groysberg and Abrahams (2014) suggests that people should keep their personal and professional life separate; this is to ensure that professionality and authenticity are maintained in the workplace. Additionally, separation can influence the types of posts people share (Peregrin, 2012). For example, a psychologist may post about a journal article, yet an engineer may consider the information irrelevant. Therefore, an individual should aim to tailor their content relevant towards their industry, demonstrating enthusiasm.

Consistency

A consistent and original profile is vital. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for consistency as individuals can develop a strong profile and apply this to their other social networks (e.g. Twitter). After all, employers use LinkedIn for professional networking and employability (Jobvite, 2014). Below is a video that demonstrates just how important professional profiles are for online networking and self-promotion.

Figure 3. Creating an attractive professional profile (IE University, 2014).

How to Ensure Authenticity

I have produced a short video which provides tips on how to maintain a professional profile across social media platforms.

Figure 4. Professional profile tips (self-produced via PowToon, suggestions from Mathieu, 2009).

Online profiles allow people to express their personality, which showcases authenticity (The Employable, 2014). Ultimately, most employers only spend “ten seconds on a CV,” and thus individuals need other techniques to market themselves as employable (Harris, 2014). Some authors have now implied that blogging can make an individual stand out from the competitive job market as it illustrates enthusiasm, creativity, and passion (Mathieu, 2009).

Blogging

Figure 5. Short slides displaying benefits of blogging (self-produced via Prezi).

Therefore, evidence indicates there are a plethora of ways to present a person’s professional profile.

An individual’s ‘brand’ is built through the connections they make, their authenticity, and their consistency (BBC, 2013). By exhibiting these skills, an individual can provide evidence of their passion and authenticity, all from their digital identity. After all, you are what you present!

Word count: 399

References

BBC News. (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online.

Beh, W. J. (2017). Topic 2: Online identities – Who do you think I am? WordPress.

Carruthers, R. (2012). Managing your digital footprint. Career Destinations, University of Southampton.

Dekmezian, G. (2015). Who do people blog? The benefits of blogging. The Huffington Post.

Groysberg, B., & Abrahams, R. (2014). Manage your work, manage your life. Harvard Business Review.

Harris, L. (2014). Using social media in your job search. University of Southampton.

Hunter, P. (2015). The rise of the social CV. We Are Source.

IE University. Be found, and then be great! – Creating an attractive professional profile. YouTube.

Jobvite. (2014). Social recruiting Survey.

Kadlac, A. (2017). The challenge of authenticity: Enhancement and accurate self-presentation. Journal of Applied Philosophy. doi: 10.1111/japp.12266

Lotich, P. (2014). 5 advantages of professional networking. The Thriving Small Business.

Mathieu, J. (2009). Marketing yourself: Enhance your profile and advance your career. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(5).

Nyman, N. (2014a). I’ll tweet you my job spec if you snap me your CV. Web Science MOOC.

Peregrin, T. (2012). LinkedIn profile makeover: Optimizing your professional online profile. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(1), 23 – 25. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2011.11.006

Ronson, J. (2015). How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s life. The New York Times Magazine.

Snowdon, G. (2011). The rules of social recruiting. The Guardian.

Tapscott, D. (2014). Five ways talent management must change. World Economic Forum.

The Employable. (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. TheEmployable.

Figure References

Figure 1. Self-produced via Piktochart.

Figure 2. Self-produced via Google Slides.

Figure 3. Be found, and then be great! – Creating an attractive professional profile. Accessed from YouTube.

Figure 4. Self-produced via PowToon.

Figure 5. Self-produced via Prezi.

Featured image. Self-produced via Adobe Photoshop CS5. Man in suit image retrieved from Flickr.

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7 thoughts on “Topic 3: Keeping It Authentic and Professional

  1. Hi Beh,
    Thanks for an enjoyable article on this week’s topic! You made excellent use of visuals, but out of all of them I found the Figure 1 infographic the most comprehensive.
    I would be interested to hear more of your personal experience: what makes you authentic online? Are you on LinkedIn? It would be interesting to see how many ticks would you get by completing this this checklist.
    Looking forward for your thoughts!
    Best,
    Andrei

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrei,

      Thank you for commenting on my blog post, and I am glad you liked my visuals! That is an excellent question. Currently, I am on LinkedIn. However, my profile right now is not something I am happy with as it still needs updating (i.e. a professional photo). Additionally, after checking out your checklist, my bio does not capture who I am. Thus, I have avoided including a screenshot of my account. This brings up issues of authenticity which indicate that I should update my LinkedIn account to avoid suspicions and present the best version of myself professionally online. I will aim to update my profile sometime this week. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, it has been helpful!

      I believe what makes me authentic is that I present balanced content on my profiles (BBC, 2013), this allows me to show some of my personal side on my professional profiles! The best of both worlds. I think it is important to raise awareness of how to stay authentic and professional by advocating for this. You might even want to check out the EU “Right to be Forgotten” proposal a few years ago on how online content is increasingly scrutinised.

      I hope this answers your questions and if you have any more, please feel free to ask.

      Best wishes,
      Wei

      References

      BBC News. (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online.

      European Commission. (2014). Right to be forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your reply Beh! It was interesting to read your answers to my question. Furthermore, it’s really interesting that you brought up the case of ‘The Right to be Forgotten’. I think it’s the case is normal. Companies shouldn’t be allowed to hide anymore behind their servers being based in California or anywhere else in the world and comply with European legislation as European Comission’s ms. Reading stated here.

        Best,
        Andrei

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Andrei, thank you for replying!

        I too believe it is a controversial approach. However, this is similar to the idea that once we post something online, it stays there for a lifetime. Therefore, we as individuals should carefully consider the content we present on our social media platforms today. After all, one damaging information can lead to serious consequences (as seen in the Justine Sacco case). Additionally, this artcle details how in the past, some companies would pay to gain access and view private profiles of their candidates/employees.

        Do you think there are other ways in how we can increase authenticity and relevant content on both our professional and personal profiles? What about the ethical issues? I would love to know your thoughts!

        Regards,
        Wei

        Like

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