Topic 3: Branding- Professional or Personal?

When I began this topic it hadn’t really considered my Social Media profile much beyond Facebook, I already had a LinkedIn account and it’s something as an ‘almost graduate’ that I have put quite a considerable amount of effort into, I’m aware of how important it is, and reading blogs such as Leigh’s showed me just how important this was. I felt the clearest way to convey this importance in my original post was through the use of an info graphic and those that read and commented on my post such as Andrew felt that it was really interesting to have our Social Media use quantified.

The biggest issue raised this week was the ‘authenticity’ of our Social Media profiles and how this co-exists with our Professional Lives. I personally don’t see my own use of Facebook as a concern when it comes to future employment but I know there are people who are far more prolific users than I am and that it is something that has concerned them. From browsing through other Blogs and comments I found that for many the solution to this was to make your ‘personal’ profile entirely private, and to create a ‘professional’ profile which could be viewed by potential employers. Arguably this could reduce the authenticity of the profile.

Because this is such previously unchartered territory, it’s a situation that is currently entirely down to personal preference, there isn’t a recommended ‘done thing’, and therefore it depends upon the desired employment sector and your previous use of Social Media. What is undeniable is that Social Media is an invaluable way to project and refine your CV to a limitless audience.

Blogs I commented on:

Sarah’s Blog

Leigh’s Blog

Topic 3: Hard Working Graduate Desperately Seeking Employment

As we all near Graduation and our entrance into the ‘Real World’ draws ever closer, our Social Media habits must adapt and change to reflect this. Instead of filling our newsfeeds with photos of last Wednesday’s Social people are starting to dedicate time to creating, updating and maintaining LinkedIn profiles. On average we spend nearly 4 hours per day on Social Media, this equates to almost half a working day (Nyman, 2014). So it’s not really surprising that recruiters are turning to Social Media in order to find candidates for vacant roles within companies. The info graphic shows just how many jobs are allocated through Social Media.

Social Media & Employment Inforgraphic

If you’re yet to embrace Social Media in a professional capacity, you’re already late to the party (BBC, 2013). With an online profile you can begin to tell a story about yourself to potential employers. Effectively it’s an interactive CV. BUT it needs to be done properly. It’s not just LinkedIn and the carefully constructed profile that you’ve created on here which will be scrutinised. Every other aspect of your Online Presence will be scoured by savvy recruiters, and even the nosy public.

The case of Justine Sacco shows just how important it is to maintain a professional Online Identity across all Social Media. An inappropriate tweet en route to South Africa resulted in her being fired from her job (Ronson, 2015). The general public leapt on her and she had to leave South Africa after hotels refused to accommodate her and her personal safety couldn’t be guaranteed. Even a Buzzfeed article featuring all her questionable tweets was published.

Obviously Justine Sacco is a pretty good example of how wrong things can go on Social Media, but her case is by no means a one off. Your Online Identity has been central to you gaining the job in the first place for some time, but it is now also a key factor in determining whether you remain employed. Activities such as Blogging can really help to boost your profile; they demonstrate traits such as creativity, dedication and motivation (The Employable, 2014). But before you jump straight in, Blogging is something that needs to be done ‘properly’. Potential employers are not interested in the incoherent ramblings of your inner mind. Make it personal, but make it interesting, intellectual and truthful.

I think the ‘authentic’ aspect of building an online professional identity is important, but has its limitations. Obviously things such as educational attainment and employment record should be honest, and are things which employers can and will check. We’ve all claimed on CV’s in the past that we love nothing more than country walks and a classic novel, when really at 18 we’re more likely to be in the local club downing shots. I don’t personally think this affects the ‘authenticity’ of our professional identity providing it doesn’t interfere in our ability to do the job at hand.

Building a successful online identity takes hard work, perseverance and dedication, but beware, it only takes one ill-advised tweet to destroy it all.

507 Words.

References:

BBC, 18 October 2013, ‘Job Hunting: How to Promote Yourself Online”, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 Accessed: 5/3/2015

The Employable, 28 October 2014. ‘How Blogging can help you get a Job’. http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ Accessed: 5/3/2015

Nyman, N. 13/3/2014. ‘Using Social Media in your Job Search’. http://moocs.southampton.ac.uk/websci/2014/03/13/ill-tweet-job-spec-snap-cv/ Accessed: 5/3/2014

Ronson, J. 12/2/2015. ‘How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco’s Life’, New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=2 Accessed: 5/3/2015

Source of Info-graphic Statistics:

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/ Accessed: 5/3/2015

http://blog.capterra.com/top-15-recruiting-statistics-2014/ Accessed: 5/3/2015