A professional online YOU in 5 simple steps

A professional online YOU in 5 steps
Figure 1 – created on canva.com

Online recruitment is growing fast and it’s not stopping; 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social to support their recruiting efforts (Jobvite, 2014). If developing a professional online profile has not been a priority in your job search, make it one now! This post will consist of the steps I believe are essential for developing an authentic professional online profile.

Firstly, set up a profile on a professional job/career site. They appear when your name is googled (figure 2 shows my example) and highlight your key attributes and achievements. With nearly 80% of employers using this tool for researching applicants (Parcells, 2014) having one is crucial.

Untitled design
Figure 2 – created on Canva.com

Al Gomez’s article highlights 5 best job sites to have a profile on.

Second, be authentic! It is easy to get lost editing our online profiles to what we believe is attractive to employers.  Studies have shown that being authentic links to our well being (Mengers, 2014) and I agree – why attract an organisation which carries values you do not believe in? It is also important to remember that employers can easily spot a lie when they interview you, so keep it real!

In the TEDtalk below Ledbetter tells her story highlighting that “others will get along with you more easily if they see your human side”.

Step three – stand out from the crowd! Everyone has a Linkedin so why not put more on the table, why not start a blog? This article from TheEmployable highlights how blogging may help you get a job.

Story time: I met a marketing intern last week, she said she had applied to her role with no work experience but was able to showcase her creativity and digital intelligence through her blog and impressed her employer.

But how authentic is too authentic? Sometimes our opinions differ highly to others and may be inappropriate or hurtful. Whether it is your personal or professional profile it is important to avoid publishing content which may harm your reputation or the reputation of your employer. The infographic below showcases 6 people who got fired due to their tweets.

Tweets that got people fired
Figure 3 – created on canva.com 

Last but not least – update, update, update! To get the most of your professional online profile it is important that your information is updated (e.g. new qualifications and work experience). Keeping your profile up to date shows you’re organised which is a valuable trait to have.



Jobvite. (2014). 2014 social recruiting survey. [online] Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

Love, D. (2011). 13 People Who Got Fired For Tweeting. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-fired-2011-5?IR=T#dont-tweet-bad-things-about-your-potential-employer-1 [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].

Mengers, A. (2014). e Bene ts of Being Yourself: An Examination of Authenticity, Uniqueness, and Well-Being. [online] Repository.upenn.edu. Available at: http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1064&context=mapp_capstone [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].

Parcells, N. (2014). How to Create a Killer Online Professional Profile. [Blog] Available at: https://www.looksharp.com/blog/how-to-create-a-killer-online-professional-profile [Accessed 8 Mar. 2017].

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=3 [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].


10 thoughts on “A professional online YOU in 5 simple steps

  1. Hi Eloane,

    I really like this confident and original post. You cover several central aspects of keeping an online professional profile and break your information down into clear and coherent steps with engaging visual aids, punchy language and an anecdote.

    The only thing I felt was missing was some more honed, specific tips for constructing that all-important profile. I found the post Let’s get LinkedIn useful in this respect. Let me know if you agree with this advice.

    Authenticity is important for portraying a trustworthy and consistent image to employers and clients. I’d like to know how you prevent your online professional image from becoming ‘too authentic’ (as you interestingly phrase it).

    Many thanks.
    (word count:117)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Catherine,

    Thank you for commenting! sorry for not being specific with tips on how to create a profile. However it’s fair to say that the top professional profile websites are quite helpful in giving tips and ensuring you make good use of them; Linkedin is sends me reminders about further steps I should take to improve my profile, see this screenshot. On another note, I did find the blog post you linked very useful and I will try include more tips in my future posts.

    In reference to you question on how I refrain from being “too authentic” on my online profile – I refrain from sharing my opinions on controversial topics. I believe it is still possible for me to portray myself as trustworthy because my authenticity is shown from the posts I may like and the images I post of my experiences.

    thanks again!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for your reply.

    That is a very good point; online platforms often provide prompts with tips on how to improve your profile as they want to ensure you benefit from their service and continue to use it.

    While it is always sensible to monitor what you say online in order to present a respectful and professional image, in some cases this may prevent individual freedom of expression.



  4. Hi Catherine

    I completely agree on how over monitoring can create a sense of the lack of freedom of individual expression, as there have been times where I haven’t posted a thought due to fearing negative feedback. On another note, I do not feel the freedom of individual expression is completely lost as one can still share their thoughts within their social group (face to face). In addition this raises the importance of having a balance between what you share online and what you share offline, do you agree?

    thanks again!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Eloane,

    Yes, it is perhaps safer to express yourself freely offline where you can be assured of privacy. I think this relates back to issues of online identity from Topic 2; a single identity is arguably better for a professional profile as it projects a trustworthy and consistent image, whereas multiple identities allow a user to separate personal from private.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Catherine

      Yes, that is a great link! thank you for bringing it up, I hadn’t thought about it in that view. It’s interesting to see how each week’s topics link to one another.
      It’s been a pleasure discussing this week’s topic with you!

      Liked by 1 person

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