Why you should be conscious of your online professional profile

Your online presence can tell a story about who you are. It has never been more important to present the right narrative to future employers or potential clients.

The way in which we work is changing as connections are made faster and more efficiently, and this extends to job hunting and recruitment (Tapscott, 2014). Recent statistics reveal that 93% of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision (Jobvite, 2014).

Jobvite 2
Figure 1: Jobvite Social Recruting Survey Results.

However, your professional online profile is not just something to impress recruiters with, but needs to be carefully maintained throughout your professional life as the case of Justine Sacco painfully proves; one badly judged tweet can lose you your job (Ronson, 2015).

In Topic 2 it became clear that while having multiple identities on different platforms can allow you to separate your professional and personal profiles, a single identity across platforms is more authentic; helping to create a trustworthy and consistent image in the world of business.

Watch the SlideShare below for tips on how to get started with building an effective and authentic online professional profile. According to Neil Nyman (2014), because of the high volume of applications, you now have just ten seconds to wow a recruiter and social media might just help you to stand out.

LinkedIn launched in 2003 and is now the major professional networking online platform, connecting millions of individuals across the world (Carruthers, 2012). It has a distinctly different culture to other social networking platforms and is a useful way of letting people see a professional representation of you (Bowes, 2013). Users can publish their CV, link with others who have similar interests and explore career paths. Watch the clip below (1:20 to 2:21) to hear how it works from a LinkedIn Engineer.


As with most online services you have to pay for the optimum service and upgrades. However, LinkedIn is not just a valuable tool for securing a job but can also be important for a successful career; it forms a marketing tool to help you sell yourself to potential clients (Henley, 2014).

‘people and brands are sort of blending’ (Weiss, 2013).

I find Weiss’ analogy of the ‘personal brand’ fascinating as I am interested in all things marketing. Personally, I have realised that I need to set up a LinkedIn profile as a matter of urgency and will be applying my learnings to this process.

Differentiation and authentication emerge as key to a successful online professional profile. What it comes down to is promoting what you do best in the right places.

Word count: 435


Bowes, P. (2013). Using social media to find a new job. BBC News.

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

Henley, M. (2014). How to Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile. The Effective Marketing Company.

Jobvite (2014). Social Recruiting Survey 2014.

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

Nyman, N. (2014) Let’s get LinkedIn. Neil’s Recruitment Co.

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

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

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

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

White, M. (2016). The 9 Things Your Online Professional Profile Must Have. time.com.

Figure references

Featured Image: Self-produced using Canva. Photo credit to Pexels.

Figure 1: Screen capture of page 7 of the Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey, 2014.

Figure 2: Self-produced using Microsoft PowerPoint and SlideShare. Photo credit to Pexels.





5 thoughts on “Why you should be conscious of your online professional profile

  1. Hi Catherine,

    I found the way you’ve written this blog post to be really informative and clear. I also like the way you’ve linked it to last week’s blog post, and focused your attention on LinkedIn – the most professional social media platform. This weeks topic has however made me consider the ethical implications of the broad world of online professional profiles. Do you think the process of social media recruitment raises equal employment concerns? Many people won’t have any social media accounts, which is perfectly fine, but do you think it’s fair that this may affect their chances of being hired/interviewed as the employer can’t really ‘screen’ them? Also, younger people – or millennials – are more likely to have (and know how to use effectively) social media accounts, as they’ve grown up in the digital era, so the concept of ageism could perhaps be implicated.

    Interested to hear your thoughts!

    (word count: 153)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Madeleine,

    I’m glad you found my post useful and thanks for commenting.

    I hadn’t considered the potential impacts of online recruitment. I don’t consider the move online to be ageist of companies, for reasons discussed in my Topic 1 post which supports the digital visitor and resident theory. However, your point about increased risk of equal employment seems to be a concern. I found this article LEGAL TRENDS Social Media Use in Hiring: Assessing the Risks which you may find interesting; it highlights EEO concerns and stresses the importance of diversifying recruiting approaches (i.e. not just social media).

    Let me know what you think.


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