Topic 3

Topic 3: Reflection

This week’s topic encouraged us to delve deeper into the issues of online identities and consider our own strategies for developing a professional online presence. As I reach the mid-point of my UOSM2008 journey, I’ve taken a moment to reflect on my experiences so far.

Mid-Module Reflection
Figure 1. Mid-module reflection (self-produced using Piktochart)

One point that resonated with me this week was Mark’s statement that “success is when you can bring something new to someone”. To me, this highlighted a fundamental reason as to why we should develop a professional online identity. In order to get ahead in an increasingly competitive job market, we must find ways to differentiate ourselves from the crowd.

One way to achieve this is through self-promotion. As Brad and I discussed, it is important to achieve a balance between highlighting your skills and experiences, whilst at the same time avoiding deception and appearing inauthentic. As discussed with Mark, consistent personal branding is also an important aspect to consider. As outlined below, I have taken strategies to develop my personal brand, including the creation of an about.me page to tie my online profiles together.

Personal Branding Changes
Figure 2. Changes to personal branding (self-produced using Canva)

My discussion with Carolina highlighted that blogging can benefit individuals from a range of backgrounds. A blog, whether about industry-related issues or personal interests, provides a key insight into an individual’s personality. As mentioned to Caiti, personality and cultural fit have become increasingly important to employers, resulting in an increased use of social media within recruitment (Wilde, n.d.). This further reinforces the importance of effectively managing all our online profiles, both professional and personal.

Do's and Don'ts for Professional Online Profiles
Figure 3. Do’s and don’ts for professional online profiles (self-produced using Piktochart)

Finally, in my discussions with both Carolina and Mark, questions were raised about the future of CVs. Are we set to see an emergence of blogs as CVs? Or will CVs will take a different direction in the form of video CVs? Only time can tell. One thing’s for sure is that your professional online identity does matter, so it’s a good idea to ensure it remains a positive reflection of you!

(324 words)

Comments

Brad’s post

Caiti’s post

References

Dowdy, T. (n.d.). The do’s and don’ts of social networking for professionals. The Online Mom.

Hansen, K. (n.d.). Use your blog as a resume? Part I: Pros and cons. Live Career.

Ruesink, M. (2014). Social media do’s and don’ts: 10 tips for keeping your profiles professional. Rasmussen College.

Turner, A. (2011). Top 5 tips for creating impressive video resumes. Mashable.

Wilde, T. (n.d.). How to learn more about a candidate’s personality with social media. Social Hire.

Figure References

Figure 1: Self-produced using Piktochart.

Figure 2: Self-produced using Canva.

Figure 3: Self-produced using Piktochart.

Topic 3

Topic 3: Building A Professional Online Identity

Through exploring multiple online identities in Topic 2, it’s clear that an increasing number of web users are choosing to portray both personal and professional facets of their identities online. But why is building a professional online identity important? The video below provides some insight.

Figure 1. Social Recruitment Statistics (self-produced with statistics from Jobvite, 2014)

Marketing Yourself

With such changes in the way employers approach recruitment, it makes sense for individuals to mirror this approach in terms of their careers, and that’s where personal branding comes in (Nyman, 2014a). In the same way that marketers promote brands, individuals can promote themselves to potential employers (Weiss, 2013). This idea of ‘personal branding’ can be explored through professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. By taking on a digital resident role and actively managing your online presence, you can network with industry professionals, explore career opportunities and increase your visibility to potential employers (Carruthers, 2012). Whilst I’m no LinkedIn expert, I have acquired some useful tips on how to build a successful profile, as outlined below.

Figure 2. LinkedIn Tips (self-produced with information from Nyman, 2014b)

Achieving Authenticity

There’s a fine line between marketing yourself and putting employers off, and that’s where authenticity comes in. Authenticity is about being original and genuine, which are traits that people value both offline and online (Winstead, 2015). As the phrase goes, “people hire people”, so showing a bit of personality through your online presence can go a long way to securing a job role. Whilst creating an authentic profile is easier said than done, a good start is to share your values, passions and goals in an honest and open manner. This can be achieved through blogging or an online portfolio, both of which demonstrate creativity, enthusiasm and dedication (TheEmployable, 2014).

The Key to Consistency

Consumers prefer brands that are consistent, and the same applies to online users that experience your personal brand (Noble, 2013). To build a consistent online presence, I suggest using a similar tone of voice across platforms and, where possible, the same name, username and profile photo (James, 2015). Consistency can also be achieved through an about.me page, which pulls together all of your online profiles to reinforce a coherent online identity. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your true values and the values you present online are consistent. After all, you are what you share, post, like and tweet (take note, Justin Saco!).

Authenticity and consistency interlink
Figure 3. Authenticity and consistency are interlinked (self-produced using Canva)

Whilst there are numerous ways to approach building a professional online identity, I’ve noticed three emerging themes: Market yourself, remain authentic and be consistent. In the current digital world, your professional online presence could make or break an opportunity, so be sure to consider it thoughtfully and carefully.

(418 words)

References

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

James (2015). Maintaining a consistent brand identity across social platforms. LCN.

Jobvite (2014). Social Recruiting Survey 2014.

Noble, J. T. (2013). Truth will out – why authenticity is the key to growing your business. Kissmetrics Blog.

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

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

Ronson, J. (2015). How one stupid tweet blew up Justin Saco’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.

Winstead, R. (2015). Being yourself: The importance of authenticity in online marketing. Business 2 Community.

Figure References

Figure 1: Self-produced using PowToon and information from Jobvite (2014).

Figure 2: Self-produced using Google Slides and information from Nyman (2014b).

Figure 3: Self-produced using Canva and this image.

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