Topic 3: How can I develop an authentic professional profile online?

Before we begin discussing how to develop an authentic professional profile online, let’s have a quick recap of the relevant points from Topics 1 and 2:

6 (1)
Figure 1: A recap of earlier topics discussed, self-produced.

In my previous blog post on Topic 2, I discussed the debate between digital experts about how important it is to develop an authentic online profile, instead of multiple or anonymous identities and personas. This week, I will focus on how to actually develop an professional profile in order to benefit from the professional side of social media and open up new opportunities including jobs.

Before developing an authentic professional profile, it’s important to understand why we should have one. This video demonstrates this nicely.

Use the following tips to develop your professional profile and make it authentic.

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Figure 2: An infographic to show the main ways to develop an authentic professional profile online, self-produced. Sources: The Huffington Post, JobVite, The Employable and BBC News.

Personally, I already have a great deal of experience in establishing professional profiles online. I work in Social Media Marketing and as a result, use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to establish my ‘brand’ and promote the clients I work with including Virgin Media and The Economist. As a result, I am conscious about what I post in order to avoid any situations like the Justine Sacco case. Nik Nyman discusses the possibilities of using social media as a tool both in searching for jobs and recruiting, something I agree is now an essential part of the modern day job hunt. My LinkedIn profile has allowed me to have discussions with recruiters in my field, something that I know will definitely benefit me once I leave University and enter the job market. I would argue that utilising online profiles is now a vital part of job hunting and recruiting. Browsing a candidate’s authentic profile allows a recruiter to gain a more rounded view of the person, much more than a quick 30 second scan of a piece of paper can do. We are also seeing an increase in creative methods of job hunting, examples include Adam Pacitti who spent his last £500 on a billboard with a link to his website: With this new generation of job hunters and recruiters, it is important hunters keep up to date with technological and creative changes, therefore taking advantage of social media rather than simply relying on traditional CV and cover letter approaches.

For more reading on the subject, this article discusses the difference in how you promote yourself on Facebook and LinkedIn, whilst this article investigates the effect your social media profile can have on your recruitment opportunities.


BBC News, (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Caers, R. and Castelyns, V. (2010). LinkedIn and Facebook in Belgium: The Influences and Biases of Social Network Sites in Recruitment and Selection Procedures. Social Science Computer Review, [online] 29(4), pp.437-448. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Jobvite, (2014). Social Recruiting Survey. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Joyce, S. (2015). 5 Reasons to Have a Photo in Your LinkedIn Profile. The Huffington Post. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Morse, F. (2013). Jobseeker Adam Pacitti Spends £500 On London Billboard In Desperate Attempt To Find Work. The Huffington Post. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Nyman, N. (2014). Using social media in your job search. [Blog] Web Science MOOC. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. New York Times Magazine. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Simpson, C. (2017). Why should I create an authentic professional profile online?. Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

The Employable. (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

van Dijck, J. (2013). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society, [online] 35(2), pp.199-215. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Image references:

Figure 1: Self-produced using

Figure 2: Self-produced using

Word count: 392


7 thoughts on “Topic 3: How can I develop an authentic professional profile online?

  1. pmbatchelor

    Hi Caiti,

    Thank you for a great read! I particularly liked your infographic on how to develop an authentic professional profile, which I found very striking and informative.

    It’s interesting to hear your experiences with social media not only on a personal level but also professionally through your work in social media marketing.

    Whilst you advise to keep personal and professional online identities completely separate, would you say that you yourself follow this approach?

    This article explores the ways in which recruiters are using social media to learn more about a candidate’s personality. Thus, it’s possible that keeping your personal online profiles open allows recruiters to get a better sense of your personality, which can be beneficial if the values you portray are a good cultural fit for the company. Do you think a balance can be achieved here between separating online identities and still being able to present your personality? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!



  2. Hi Caiti,

    I enjoyed reading your post. I wanted to bring up a point relating to the essential nature of social media in a recruitment process. I wonder, is it really an effective or useful tool to use as a recruiter? While I can see advantages to having a presence on social media to attract applicants, beyond that it may not be so useful.

    According to there are several problems with using social media as an in-effect check on a potential employee, particularly given the possibility of names being associated with the wrong person and the issue of pseudonyms used by individuals which can lead to false positives and false negatives. Do you think these considerations are taken into account enough by recruiters and how can such problems be countered?

    Best Wishes,


    (Word count 135)



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