Topic Three – Reflection

When I first started my reading for this fortnight’s post, I presumed it would be rather simple. We are the digital age after all, we know everything there is to know about the web and creating a professional profile – everything is fine and dandy, right?

Well… no. 

Whilst I was halfway in to my research, I found Branham and Farrar’s blog post, and this is where it really hit me; we really do ‘think less and less about what we write online’. We as the digital generation are so dependent on social media as a tool for communication, that we forget these online actions are not limited to our social groups, and can in fact be seen by everyone – including our future employers.

At first, I was convinced that employers ‘vetting’ our social profile was a breach of privacy; that we had to limit our thoughts and opinions out of fear that it would come back to harm our employment prospects. However, having read Cherie’s post, most notably her pros and cons list, I realised that my view was rather cynical. We should use our online profiles to enhance our credibility, and give employers a flavour of who we are. Mary’s comment on my post also helpfully brought to my attention the advice from Chris Smith (2017).  Smith sheds light on how we can maintain control of our content through privacy settings. I found this especially helpful, not because I wasn’t aware of these settings (as seen below); but that these settings can be used in our favour to maintain control over our ‘personal brand’.

Privacy settings copy

As a marketing student, I shouldn’t be afraid of such of a platform to shine! Carolina’s post really cemented this idea; having an authentic professional online profile will allow me to strengthen my own brand and differentiate myself.

Considering the interaction with my peers’ posts, I have created a new checklist which include additional steps that were not included in my original ‘step by step’ guide. This will help me further improve on my own authentic professional profile:


Who knew developing an authentic professional online profile could be so intricate?!

Word Count: 353

My comments can be found here:


Facebook, (2017). Facebook Privacy Settings. Available at: [Accessed 18 Mar. 2017].

Farrar, D. and Branham, C. (2017). Negotiating Virtual Spaces: Public Writing. Available at: [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].

Knight, C. (2017). Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed…. Available at: [Accessed 15 Mar. 2017].

Poveda-Ocampo, C. (2017). LinkedWin: Developing your online profile. Available at: [Accessed 15 Mar. 2017].

Smith, C. (2017). Facebook Privacy Settings: A complete guide to keeping control. Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].

Topic Three – Reflection

Online Recruitment: Creating an Authentic and Professional Online Presence.

In the last decade, online recruitment has significantly grown. With internet usage increasing, job seekers are now turning to online methods to find jobs; in fact, in 2014 ‘76% of job seekers used an electronic device with Internet capability in their job search.’ (BCG Perspectives, 2015). With competition also growing to capture the ‘top talent’, employers also are increasingly conducting recruitment via ‘web-based tools such as a firm’s public internet site or its corporate intranet’ (Kerrin and Kettley, 2003). Therefore, job seekers must create an authentic online professional profile to increase their chances of getting a job, now more than ever!

But what exactly is an ‘authentic’ online profile? According to the dictionary definition, to be authentic is to be true to oneself – so, a genuine, professional identity. This means that one must use their real name and real work experiences when creating a professional identity; steering away from the idea of ‘pseudonyms’ discussed in Topic Two.  The other keyword, is ‘professional’. This would seem obvious when job seeking, however, Branham and Farrar (2014) believe that people, particularly millennials, ‘think less and less’ about what they say and how they appear online, which can lead to problems when they begin their job search. Firms use the web to research candidates (as seen below), therefore, Bryant (2016) urges job seekers to ‘clean up their act’ online, to avoid being endlessly rejected in the highly competitive job market.


So, how do we ‘clean up’ up our online act and create an authentic professional online profile? This infograph gives us some key steps to get started:


Essentially, creating this profile allows the user to effectively market themselves, not just to future employees but also to future business partners and other likeminded individuals in similar fields. In this new digitally driven, competitive age, it is vital to utilise Linked-in, Facebook and other social media sites to paint yourself in the best light possible. As Peter Bowes explains in this video, having a professional online identity serves as a ‘Personal Brand’, where you have the control to create your own personal image. As a marketing student, it is particularly interesting to see how important it is to always consider the image you are portraying online, and the future implications that each action across all platforms have on your brand image.

But I do question, how far can employers ‘dig’ for information before it becomes intrusive?

Word count: 400 words.


BBC, (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: [Accessed 9 March 2017].

BCG Perspectives (2015) Job seeker trends 2015: Channels, search time, and income change. Available at: (Accessed: 9 March 2017).

Bryant, K. (2016). Engaging 21st century writers with social media. 1st ed.

Dictionary, (2017). The definition of authentic. Available at: (Accessed 9 March 2017).

Farrar, and Branham, (2014). Negotiating Virtual Spaces: Public Writing. Available at: (Accessed 9 March 2017).

Jacobs, D. (2013). Forbes Welcome. Available at: (Accessed 9 March 2017)

Jobvite, (2014). 2014 Survey: Social Recruiting. Available at: (Accessed: 9 March 2017).

Kerrin, M and Kettley, P. (2003) E-recruitment – is it delivering? Brighton: Institute for Employment Studies.

Online Recruitment: Creating an Authentic and Professional Online Presence.