Developing an authentic online professional profile? What’s that?

Great, you just graduated from a university with a bachelor’s degree and full of hopes for getting your dream job. You prepared everything from sending a good cover letter to constructing a proper resumé. If you got hired, brilliant! If not, its time for you to develop a professional online profile.

Sorry to bore you with statistics but 73% of recruiters have hired a candidate through social media with LinkedIn being the highest one at 79%. Have I not proved enough that an online profile is important? Let me hit you with one more statistic; 93% of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision.

(Credits: Google Images)

One of the simplest way to get started is to create a LinkedIn account(duh, 79% hello?!?). LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service where companies turn to for their recruitment drives. Spend time making sure your LinkedIn profile is professional by taking note of things such as profile image, relevancy of content, and quality of work. Not to mention a professional email address!

(Credit: Google Images)

Profile image is usually one of the first things that a recruiter will look at and an unprofessional image will definitely crush your chances of getting hired. Having an overload of irrelevant information, especially with grammar/spelling errors, will definitely be unattractive and unprofessional. Filter those past work that really made you stand out and focus on those.

(Credit: Google Images)

Also, be what your profile say you are! Educational qualifications and personality traits can be discovered easily, there’s no point fabricating it. You know what they always say, “Honesty is the best policy”.

(Credits: Google Images)

Keeping your personal details and images uniform throughout your other social accounts will be advantageous for easy identification and deleting all inappropriate stuff will prevent misjudgments to occur.

The incident that happened to Justine Sacco is one that shouldn’t be forgotten. Public shaming in this internet age is grievous and its not worth risking your future for it.

Tip: To stay away from such a calamity, watch what you say!

Aside from having a professional online profile, keeping an updated professional blog is a plus point as well! Things like passion and creativity can’t be found in resumes or online profiles and employers are more than willingly to understand you better through that.

For this time and age where social media is operating at such a mass scale, it is not enough just to have a good CV, good online profiles are also of paramount importance(not forgetting blogs). All the points mentioned above will definitely help in further developing your own ‘brand’ to better reach out to potential employers.

Having a well-constructed and professional personal brand is half the battle won!

(433 words)

Cheers,

Jun Wai

References

Harris, L. and Harris, L. (2014). Using social media in your job search – Web Science MOOC. [online] Web Science MOOC. Available at: http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Jobvite, (2015). [online] Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Neilsrecruitment.co.uk, (2014). Curating your Online Profile | Neils Recruitment Co.. [online] Available at: http://www.neilsrecruitment.co.uk/2014/01/curating-your-online-profile/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=2 [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

TheEmployable, (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. [online] Available at: http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Todd Leopold, C. (2015). Public shaming, social media, ruined lives – CNN.com. [online] CNN. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/16/living/feat-public-shaming-ronson/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

YouTube, (2015). How social media led to a ‘renaissance’ of public shaming. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP-RoHoh-5Y [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

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13 comments

  1. eatgoodicecream · November 5, 2015

    Hi Jun Wai,

    I really enjoy reading your post and particularly liked how you started off with having an interesting first paragraph. It’s engaging and keeps me interested to continue reading on. I think that when people think about their professional profile they will first link to the image/picture. After all, people in the real world are judgmental. When I picture someone’s professional profile picture, a lady dressed in a set of mundane office wear and a black blazer with her hair neatly tied up together with makeup, immediately came to my mind. That’s utterly boring! However being all fanciful in order to stand out will be assumed to be unprofessional and like what you’ve mentioned, ‘crush your chances of getting hired’.

    I was just wondering what’s your opinion(s) on a attractive yet professional profile image for potential employers? How much is it considered to be unprofessional? Is it having weird hair colours or perhaps just a simple candid photo taken by the beach?
    (161 words)

    Siew Woon

    Liked by 1 person

    • junewhyyy · November 6, 2015

      Hi Siew woon,

      Thanks for spending time to read my blog post! A profile photo is what recruiters usually see first when they chanced upon their profile and yes, I agree that it is quite mundane for the job seekers to always be in office wear. Like what you mentioned, a image can be professional but attractive at the same time!

      To me, I will first determine which job industry I am going to focus on to decide how to take my profile photo. For example if I am planning to go into a more design-based job, I will definitely fill my profile photo with something creative and not the ‘same old office wear look’. But if I am planning to go into a more corporate-based job, a blazer is definitely in my checklist.

      The term ‘professional’ is very vague. Different people have different expectations of professionalism but the basic requirement is to at least have proper grooming when the photo is taken. Improper grooming in any type of situation will definitely be deemed as unprofessional and not serious.

      For hair color, if the dye is not too prominent, its acceptable. Unless you are in a company where you sell hair dyes, if not don’t try anything silly.

      Lastly, a candid photo on a beach for an online profile is definitely unacceptable in any situation, whatsoever.

      I hope I have given you some insights into my own view of how a professional profile image should look like!

      Cheers,
      Jun Wai

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emilia.Q · November 6, 2015

    Hi Junwai !
    Your use of images for your post made it a more interested read! We do share some points on how to create an online professional profile 🙂 I definitely gained more insights to the topic.

    In your introduction, I think we all should start having an online professional profile now instead of after we graduated. We might need it for our internship right? And we both agree on the importance of having an authentic professional profile and ‘clean-ups’ to be done for the authentic professional profile, but do you think is still possible to dig up the past? Maybe there’s 3rd party that been keeping track of your other social media platform(s). What do you think can help to reduce that risk?

    Feel free to drop-by my blog and comment too! Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • junewhyyy · November 6, 2015

      Hi Emilia,

      Firstly, thanks for noticing my images used for this post! Really appreciate your time reading my blog and having this discussion with me.

      I agree on your point on starting to create our own professional online profile while we are still studying instead of after we graduate as we can slowly improvise and change our profile along the way. But what I mentioned on my introduction paragraph was meant for those people who have graduated from university but did not have any idea what an online profile is. Sorry to make you misunderstand that point! 😀

      I totally agree that it is still possible to dig up the past even though you thought you have deleted all of them. There are some 3rd party trackers around the web that still holds data of your past activities and it will no doubt pose a risk to your job prospects. There are no short cuts around this issue unless you pay them an amount for totally removing it in their database.

      As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’. I will of course recommend people to always watch what they say online and they will not have to worry about those consequences later in the future.

      Those answers that I gave was from my point of view and I hope it will aid you in your critical thinking for this topic.

      Cheers,
      Jun Wai

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tianyi95 · November 6, 2015

    Hey Jun Wai,

    Awesome introduction you’ve got there!

    Firstly, it’s true that deleting inappropriate contents will prevent misjudgments to occur. But, can you really clear away ALL the negative contents? With the power of Google, I would say no. Digging out pictures or information about yourself five years ago is possible. Thus, how do you think we should manage our reputation online?

    However, I think that passion and creativity can actually be found in online profiles. Like what I mentioned in my post, social media platforms are your portfolio; a place to showcase your talents. In this way, don’t you think that we are already showing our passion for a desired job? Of course, this links with updating your profiles time to time. In addition, I feel that video resumes is a good way to show your creativity.

    This are just my thoughts, do let me know what you think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • junewhyyy · November 6, 2015

      Hi Tian yi,

      Thanks for complimenting my introduction! And thanks again for spending time to read on my blog post!

      As I have mentioned on my reply to Emilia’s comment, I agree that those contents that we have deleted may still get dug up by someone, somehow. There are 3rd party trackers all over the internet and I can bet my last penny that they still hold some of our ’embarrassing’ content which we want to get rid of. Thus, my solution to all these is to always watch what you say on the internet. No matter how thorough you think you have cleared your contents, they will still have a way of finding it back. Prevention is better than cure! 😉

      Yes, passion for a job can be showed through your past work in your portfolio but the passion I meant is the drive to strive for the best in that future job. Having good testimonials from the past work may not mean he will have the same passion for the new job. Keeping a blog updated regularly on the industry matter will show a sign to the superiors that they are dedicated in striving for the best in the job.

      Creativity like what you said can be in a form of a video resume on the profile. That is no doubt creativity and of course there are many things that attributes to being creative and not only by a video. I feel that through blogging, there are more ‘freedom’ for creativity as compared to a professional online profile. At the end of the day, a online profile has to be professional but a blog doesn’t.

      Those points I have mentioned are from my own point of view and please correct me if I am wrong! 🙂

      Cheers,
      Jun Wai

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Topic 3: Reflective Summary of “developing online professional profile” | eat good ice-cream
  5. Nicole Low · November 6, 2015

    Hi Jun Wai!

    I really appreciate how your humorous you were and your style of writing was able to capture my attention throughout your post, keep it up!

    I have mentioned in my post that creating a proper LinkedIn profile is crucial, as it’ll contain all our qualifications, experiences, awards and what nots. However what you mentioned about Quality > Quantity is extremely true. I find that many individuals nowadays tend to ‘over impress’ by exaggerating their achievements or even include skills that might not even be that good at! Like what you’ve said, honesty is the best policy!

    I mean, everyone wants to stand out and be better than others but there should be a fine line between being truthful about one’s skills and being over exaggerative! As your photo mentioned, say what you mean and mean what you say. Let me know what you think!

    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • junewhyyy · November 6, 2015

      Hello Nicole,

      Thanks complimenting on my style of writing! Many thanks for spending your time to read my long blog post. 🙂

      First and foremost, a proper LinkedIn profile is definitely a MUST for this digital age that we are living in. People nowadays tend to do things too ‘overly’ and they always assume that more is good. But the truth is, less is better!
      I find that by filtering out the qualities that stand out for an individual will draw an employer’s attention rather than having too much information for him to digest. It is more focused and effective!

      Being honest is what we have learned from young right? I find it pointless for an individual to fake his information on the profile as it will definitely be exposed one day. And yes, always “say what you mean and mean what you say”!
      Tip: This phrase will bring you a long way in your career! 😉

      Nice to have this discussion with you on this topic! Hope you get to see my point of view from what I have mentioned above.

      Cheers,
      Jun Wai

      Like

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