As a third year undergraduate, having a professional digital profile has certainly grown in importance recently. I have been applying for jobs over the last few months and having a professional digital profile is essential, if not, a requirement.
So the first thing I had to do back in August was find out the best way to create a professional profile. My father said LinkedIn was a great place to start. Craig Smith claims that a staggering 94% of recruiters use the website to vet candidates (Smith, 2016). This claim is consistent with the findings of the Social Recruiting Survey (Jobvite, 2014) where Facebook and Twitter profiles are also mentioned to be used to vet candidates with 66% and 52% of employers using these websites respectively. Even the University of Southampton encouraged the use of LinkedIn and say it can be great to “increase your visibility”, (Carruthers, 2012).
I was already aware of Facebook and Twitter and had been an avid user of them both for a number of years. One concern I had was the lack of professionalism both accounts had. Having pictures of me drinking alcohol, or comments in which I am controversial don’t cry out ‘Employ Me’. The prospect of becoming the new Justine Sacco did not seem to be a great way to begin my career (Ronson, 2015). But I did know that my profile picture wasn’t the most appropriate for an employer to see, although it would be authentic.
So I looked for ways to make my Facebook account private and stumbled across the following video.
Fittingly for this module, blogging can also be a great way of creating an authentic online professional profile, having a well-maintained blog demonstrates passion, shows creativity and makes you ‘different from everyone else’, (theemployable, 2014). Blogging was alien to me prior to undertaking this module but my experience thus far leads me to agree with theemployable, especially after being informed first-hand by Nic that a UOSM2033 student was given a job based on her photography work, which she used on her blog. However, I don’t see how I could demonstrate my talents as clearly in my line of study.
From my research it seemed clear that LinkedIn was the best way to create an authentic professional online profile largely due to its great network of employers/employees, its main purpose is for professional use, most employers use it when vetting candidates and even the BBC acknowledge its benefits (Bowes, 2013).
Bowes, P. (2013) Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 [Accessed: 11/11/2016]
Carruthers, R. (2012) University of Southampton: Managing Your Digital Footprint. Available at http://coursecast.soton.ac.uk/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=2caea677-5fec-4c1a-9ad3-70320d724655 [Accessed: 11/11/2016]
Jobvite (2014) Social Recruiting Survey. Available at https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf [Accessed: 11/11/2016]
Ronson, J. (2015) New York Times: How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=2 [Accessed: 11/11/2016]
Smith, C. (2016) LinkedIn Job Statistics. Available at http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/linkedin-job-statistics/ [Accessed: 12/11/2016]
theemployable.com (2014) TheEmployable: How blogging can help you get a job. Available at http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ [Accessed: 11/11/2016]
Video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZYV0HPLw20 [Accessed 01/08/2016]
Image 1 Available at https://www.betterteam.com/linkedin-job-posting [Accessed 12/11/2016]
Image 2 no longer available on facebook. 😉