Topic 3: How can you develop an authentic online professional profile?

Why is building an authentic online professional profile important?

With 73% of recruiters admitting to have hired a candidate through social media and 93% of recruiters admitting that they review a candidate’s social media profile before making a hiring decision, it is evident that there is huge importance placed on your online professional profile (Job Vite 2014). With this in mind, it is crucial that I use my online profiles as an asset that can be used to improve my employability. Topic 3 - Stats photo

The role of LinkedIn

One of the most recognised platforms available today to help build an online professional profile is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to potentially connect with more than 175 million professionals (Parker 2014), and as seen in the above diagram, 94% of companies use LinkedIn for recruitment. I am aware of the huge role LinkedIn can play in my employability and I have therefore made some key changes to my LinkedIn profile by using the tips provided by Anson Alexander in the video below.

Topic 3 - Editted LinkedIn

Changes Made:
– Inclusion of a summary that informs the reader of my career aspirations and my current employment situation.
– Use of a profile photo that provides greater authenticity to the profile.
– List of all relevant work experience with the roles and responsibilities of each presented in a clear and concise manner.
– Detail of relevant roles and responsibilities in societies at University as well as a link to Economics related article that I have written.

What other options/platforms are available?

Whilst LinkedIn plays a huge part in online networking, it is important to recognise that other platforms are widely available to help build an authentic online professional profile. One in particular that caught my eye was BeKnown which is a free professional networking app that provides an easy way to connect professionally and to search for and apply for jobs. The app is unique as it is fully integrated with Facebook, but enables users to keep their personal Facebook information private.

In addition to this, blogging can help demonstrate passion, creativity and dedication that will make you stand out from everyone else to an employer in an increasingly competitive job market (The Employable 2014). Although this unique way of broadcasting yourself may not be suited to everyone, the key point to recognise is that you can create an authentic online professional profile across multiple platforms and not just LinkedIn.

Tips on how to build an authentic online professional profile

One important tip to consider which draws upon last week’s blog is that despite platforms like Facebook and Twitter being primarily used for personal profiling, it is important not to overlook the role they can play in determining your employability. Justine Sacco learnt this the hard way after she was sacked for profound messages she had posted on twitter were discovered by her employer. For more information on this article, click here.

For additional advice on how to build an authentic online professional profile, take a look at E-Learning Academy’s video which highlights the main ways in which your professional profile can be improved.


Overall, I believe that it’s important to treat your online professional profile as a ‘brand’ that represents you on multiple different platforms. Through providing extensive but relevant information on my LinkedIn as well as links to addition work that I’ve undertaken, I feel that I have made a good start in establishing my personal ‘brand’ online.



The Employable. (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. Available: Last accessed 10th March 2016.

Hunt, T. (2013). 5 best apps to build your online professional profile. Available: Last accessed 10th March 2016.

Parker, S. (2014). Social Recruiting Stats and Facts. Available: . Last accessed 10th March 2016.

Jobvite. (2014). Social recruitment survey. Available: . Last accessed 10th March 2016.

Picture of social media’s role in recruitment is from

Topic cover photo is from




11 thoughts on “Topic 3: How can you develop an authentic online professional profile?

  1. Hey Stuart, cool blog. I’d actually never heard of BeKnown but it seems like an interesting concept. I completely agree that LinkedIn is perhaps not for everyone, seeing as not everyone has an online presence. I read a quote from this website:

    What struck me in this article was:
    “Something else employers are considering when evaluating search results isn’t WHAT they find but what they DON’T find. If they are looking for an expert or authority in a certain profession and the candidate is nowhere to be found on blogs, blog comments and they don’t follow any of the relevant groups on LinkedIn then it shows that this person really isn’t that dialed into their craft.”

    I disagree, digital portfolios are more relevant for some types of job than others, and even then it would be very strange for an online profile to be the only basis that reflected an offer of employment. I think a lot of employers still rely on traditional CVs. Even when looking at Graduate Schemes, they don’t ask you to link your LinkedIn profile, but upload a Word Doc CV!

    So this made me think… What sort of career path do you see yourself going down? Will you be using LinkedIn/blogging to help you get noticed? 🙂


  2. Hi Vicky,

    Thanks for your comment. I definitely agree with the quote you found. I believe one way to give yourself the best opportunity to overcome this potential problem is through the interlinking of platforms that you are active on and pieces of work that you have completed. I feel that this gives you the best opportunity to be relevant to an employer as you are giving them a greater insight into your interests and skillset.

    For me personally, I am looking to go down a Finance/Economic related career path. One way in which I have tried to be unique is by writing Economic related articles online which have been linked to my LinkedIn page.



  3. Hi Stuart, I think you’ve done a really great job at highlighting the importance of social media in employability and our professional lives! I agree with the point you make that social media can be a real asset in job seeking and I think increasingly were moving towards that being a general consensus in society. You also did a really great job updating your own LinkedIn profile following the advice in the video, so thanks for sharing that, I think there are some great tips in there that we can all use. One of my favourite points that you made which is definitely something I would agree with is that the best way to approach your online professional profiles is through thinking about it as a brand. You’ve made some great steps to starting to develop your ‘brand’, how do you think you will continue to build and develop this brand? This article ( gives some really great tips for continuing to build you personal brand some of which you’ve already done as you’ll see, what do you think about the idea of showing you passion and expertise, are there any creative and interesting ways you can think of to do this?
    Thanks for making such a valuable contribution to the discussion for this week’s topic!


    1. Hi Ellie,

      Thanks for your comment. I believe linking your previous work and accounts on networking platforms is a great way to maintain and develop your personal brand. On top of this I believe it can give you a much more well rounded account of yourself to an employer and improve your authenticity.

      In answer to your second question, one way in which I believe you can be creative is through creating a YouTube channel or through blogging. In an age where employees aren’t just looking for good academics, I am confident these methods will greatly improve ones employability.



  4. Hi Stuart, i enjoyed reading your post. I found your first section very informative as a lot of people state that LinkedIn is a great site to start out your professional careers but you have also provided a guide on how to make a profile. They were very informative and simple to follow. You also wrote about BeKnown which was a completely alien site to me (shows how much research you have done!!). I haven’t yet started to build my profile yet but your post has certainly sparked my interest in BeKnown. I watched the video and realised that it was published on 2011. It is 2016 now and 5 years later nothing has changed. In my opinion, what she said is still valid today even though so much has changed social media wise. Do you think that the way we need to sell ourselves online will ever change or do you think it will remain the same for a long time?


    1. Hi Aalok,

      Thanks for your comment! Whilst media platforms will change in the future and there will undoubtedly be more platforms introduced, I think think the same concept of creating an online personal brand applies. Being authentic and creating a well rounded and accurate online profile should still be a priority in the future where there will almost certainly be huge changes online.



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