UOSM2008:Topic 3 Building your Online Professional Profile

Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed.linkedin superhero

Image sourced

In this blog post, I shall be aiming to do something a little different as I previously outlined my belief that an ‘authentic’ online identity is a necessity in this technological era. (Check out the aforementioned blog post here.)

Professor Cary Cooper’s contribution to Guardian Careers ‘You’ve been Googled: what employers don’t want to see in your online profile’ reveals:

‘Research by ExecuNet showed that 77% of recruiters said they used search engines to find background data on candidates. Additionally, 35% admitted they eliminated a candidate because of what they found online.’[1]

This reinforces the notion that ‘digital literacy [is] the new frontier in employability’.[2] How you present yourself and what you post online is important and will impact on your employability prospects. UCL’s Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic states: ‘you will need to master three things: self-branding, entrepreneurship, and hyperconnectivity’[3]this is indicative of the importance of online engagement and identity.

My research on this topic has caused me to review and make several changes to my plethora of online profiles to improve their ‘authenticity’ and professional outlook. I shall attempt to discuss and share these amendments with you here.

Developing and making improvements to your online professional profile

LinkedIn – The Case Study – http://lnkd.in/dT8KKyR

  1. ‘Don’t use anything other than a professional looking photo’[4]

Linkedin photo beforePhoto linkedin after

Before and After

I am not entirely happy with this photo and will look to make further improvements, however, I believe it is an initial improvement as it is congruent with my ‘Bio‘ on the website of my place of work LoveLove Films. Moreover, my attire (blazer) is more professionally suited.

2. ‘Don’t send people an invitation with LinkedIn’s default text.’[5]

I had not previously thought about this and it is now glaringly obvious that a little customisation to avoid the generic default message could go along way and I am going to keep it at the forefront of my mind when inviting people to connect in future.

3. ‘Don’t forget to include all your external links’[6]

contact details linkedin

Following this advice I have since updated my contact info by providing links to external sites: Twitter, the website I built for my employer LoveLove Films, personal blog and company’s twitter feed which I update and maintain.

4. LinkedIn recommendations

Recommendations LinkedIn

I was surprised to read how LinkedIn recommendations were viewed as precarious with Firebrand‘s Greg Savage remarking on the ‘LinkedIn tit for tat recommendation’ phenomenon and argues ‘How can we possibly take LinkedIn recommendations seriously when they are mostly solicited, reciprocal, and worst of all – self-published! If you don’t like what they say, even in nuance, you don’t approve it.’[7] I shall now be more weary of requesting LinkedIn recommendations and of returning the favour if it is only owing to feeling obliged to do so.

5. Include examples of your work

examples of work


Providing links to projects you have worked on will make your profile more dynamic whilst helps to showcase and support the skill-set/experience you claim to have.

To conclude, developing and enhancing your ‘authentic’ online professional profile is, as stated earlier, a necessity. It is imperative that we attempt to control our online image and utilise online tools available that enable us to manipulate the way in which potential employers can access relevant information about ourselves. LinkedIn and some of the changes I carried out inline with this topic are just a starting point or a stepping-stone to improving, maintaining and updating an essential online presence.

I invite you to google yourself – we need to be aware of the results!

Word count: 556


[1] Professor Cary Cooper, ‘You’ve been Googled: what employers don’t want to see in your online profile’, [Published: 12/04/2011, Accessed here: http://careers.theguardian.com/careers-blog/google-online-searches?intcmp=239 ]

[2] Porter, Aaron, ‘Is Digital Literacy the New Frontier in Employability?’, [Published: 7/04/2013, Accessed here:http://www.hei-flyers.org/wordpress/is-digital-literacy-the-new-frontier-in-employability/ ]

[3] Dr Thomas Camurro Premuzic, ‘The Future of you’, [Published: 01/01/2013, Accessed here: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/01/the-future-of-you/ ]

[4] Carolyn Hyams, ‘Personal Branding on LinkedIn: 10 mistakes to avoid’, [Accessed here: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/11/09/personal-branding-on-linkedin-10-mistakes-to-avoid/ ]

[5] arolyn Hyams, ‘Personal Branding on LinkedIn: 10 mistakes to avoid’, [Accessed here: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/11/09/personal-branding-on-linkedin-10-mistakes-to-avoid/ ]

[6] arolyn Hyams, ‘Personal Branding on LinkedIn: 10 mistakes to avoid’, [Accessed here: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/11/09/personal-branding-on-linkedin-10-mistakes-to-avoid/ ]

[7] Greg Savage, ‘Are you a LinkedIn Liar?’, [Accessed here:http://blog.firebrandtalent.com/2012/05/are-you-a-linkedin-liar/]


9 thoughts on “UOSM2008:Topic 3 Building your Online Professional Profile

  1. Hi Alysia, was a quality post. Especially because it was personally tailored to discuss your online activity. I appreciate your use of imagery and it was good to see you developing your profile.

    It was interesting how you only referred to LinkedIn. Do you believe that it is also important to maintain an acceptable image on Facebook and Twitter too. I know you also read that article which featured Graph Search. You noted employers may embrace it, hence is it important for us to carefully manage what is on Facebook and share our skills on there too?

    Also I comprehend your points concerning LinkedIn recommendations, but I believe they still play a lesser role of enhancing authenticity. They may be reciprocal but it proves that people truly have these connections which is indicative of legitimacy.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.

      Yes I decided to focus and concentrate on LinkedIn and provide relevant examples to showcase how you can ‘develop’ your professional profiles because I believe it is a continual process. I also believe that maintaining an appropriate image on Facebook and Twitter is important also, personally I use Facebook as a resource primarily for interaction with friends and family as opposed to a professional networking tool and thus, amend my privacy settings accordingly. I would have liked to have focused on how to develop an authentic professional presence on Twitter but was hindered by our word count restrictions. (I may consider a follow up post).

      Forbes’ Facebook Graph Search Article:http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/02/05/new-survey-linked-in-more-dominant-than-ever-among-job-seekers-and-recruiters-but-facebook-poised-to-gain/

      Following our discussion on Twitter:

      In answer to your question, it is definitely important to make sure all Facebook content is not potentially damaging or incriminating. I do not yet think that the Facebook Graph Search function is up and running, Facebook has not yet ushered us to include details of our professional competency.

      Your point regarding how LinkedIn recommendations prove that connections are legitimate is a good way of looking at it and restores my faith in them slightly.

  2. Hi Alysia, well done with this post – not just on the changes you’ve made to your profile, but the very clear and effective way that you have demonstrated what you’ve done.

    • Thank you- I was trying to do something different that would enable me to demonstrate that developing an authentic professional profile was a continual process whilst trying to keep within the word limit.

  3. Hi Alysia,
    The first expression when I’ve finished reading your blog was just WoW. I think you have covered the Topic’s question completely, and the way you have started to describe the principles in your report based on your own LinkedIn profile is just great, sometimes the photos are more powerful than words. It is good that you research on the topic and apply it to your personal life at the same time. However, just my personal opinion has been that the second bullet point mentioned: “Don’t send people an invitation with LinkedIn’s default text” is the least relevant one to the topic, because in the LinkedIn not a lot of people even has a look at the letter itself, rather than the person who has sent it. Moreover, just a quick note would be that there is no need to give references several times for the same source, as it has happened to the references number 4, 5 and 6. Just refer to it as a one.
    My question regarding the topic would be whether what are the other social networks you use or know that might help you in the same/similar manner that LinkedIn does? And what are their pros and cons in comparison with the LinkedIn?
    Best Regards,

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, I’m glad that you liked it. Yes I decided to use the screenshots of my LinkedIn and take the process I went through as a close focus in order to keep the word count down.

      I am afraid that we disagree, you say how the second bullet point ‘Don’t send people an invitation with LinkedIn’s default text’ is least relevant to this topic. However, I feel that a key advantage of developing an ‘authentic’ professional profile online is your improved ability to ‘network’ and make connections online with likeminded people that could enhance your employability prospects. Therefore, ‘Engagement’ is highly important to your cause and how you choose to engage/interact with people is equally important. This is what I mean by a little customisation could go along way.

      I share with you this detailed breakdown of Adam Pacetti’s innovative billboard campaign:http://simplesells.tumblr.com/post/39581510026/employadam

      Note how he personally engages with others.

      Oh I apologise about my style of referencing but I follow the MHRA Style Guide which my faculties of English and Film (BA Film & English Literature student) use.

      Okay, other social networks – I wanted to include Twitter as a Case Study and take this article as my starting point: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323820304578412741852687994 which argues ‘Twitter is becoming the new job board. It is also becoming the new résumé.’ – It is something I am yet to fully explore but may undertake further consideration prior to writing the Topic 3 Summary. I’ll keep you posted.

      • Hi Alysia,

        I see, now I understood what did you mean by that second bullet point. Everything makes sense now. And Yes, I do remember this link from the Lisa’s presentation. It is quite a nice one and I was surprised to know that people sometimes can be so innovative.
        Happy to hear that and thanks for the link related with Twitter. I do agree that day by day the employers start to focus not only on the LinkedIn profile of others.

        Thanks for your responses and I’m looking forward to read your next posts.

        Best Regards, Eldar

  4. Pingback: UOSM2008 Summarising Topic 3 | UOSM2008 Alysia Wildman

  5. Pingback: Portfolio Blog Post UOSM2008 | UOSM2008 Alysia Wildman

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