Reflection: Topic 3

Authenticity proved to be the differing factor between most blogs by my peers on this topic. It was evident we all knew the importance of having an authentic professional online identity, as almost everyone mentioned the part social media now plays in recruitment. However, there were many different interpretations of authentic.

The most common interpretation was to take authentic, define it literally and apply it to an online profile. This means you are who you are offline, online. One person to take this approach was Arun. Though this is correct in a literal sense, I feel there is a bit more to being authentic as demonstrated in my blog. I likened authenticity to branding. For example, we as consumers trust and believe certain companies to be authentic, such as Nike, due to their great branding. The branding of oneself is what I felt was key to the authentic part of an online identity.

On the other hand, I felt many people agreed upon what it meant to be professional online. This was to not say anything stupid online and to have a LinkedIn. However, I do feel many people, including myself, were at fault for simply focussing on LinkedIn to provide the professional aspect of their online identity. This was something I addressed on Nicole’s blog, asking if there were any other ways she felt could help boost your online identity professionally.

I very much agreed with Tobie’s excerpt on blogging. He believed that they are a fantastic way to showcase creativity, passion and dedication and that they can also help get you a job. I also queried Tiffany about this point and her response was very insightful. She explained it wasn’t enough to simply create a blog but the blog had to have a professional focus to achieve the desired effect. This was the focus of TheEmployable’s post and I feel many, myself included, failed to further seek how blogging can help you professionally.

Comments on other blogs:

Nicole’s blog

Tiffany’s blog

Sources:

TheEmployable, 2014. How blogging can help you get a job

Image source

@keviniri – Branding yourself online

Due to the increasingly low supply of skilled workers, there is a huge amount of competition for talent causing employers to be more innovative with recruitment. Social media has become a massive part of recruiters’ arsenal in finding the best talent. The figure below demonstrates just how many employers are now using social media to recruit and which networks have been hired through.

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Jobvite. (2014). Social Recruiting Survey

This makes your digital footprint and digital profile increasingly important. Your digital footprint is a trail left by your interactions within a digital environment. The size of the footprint depends on how interactive you’ve been in a cyberspace. Developing an authentic professional digital profile requires branding. Branding of you! Personal branding is key to improving your digital footprint and making greater use of the internet. This short clip from hiredmyway.com further explains this.

The title of this post demonstrates one of the ways I attempt to brand myself. ‘keviniri’ is the handle to all my social media sites, including this blog. The most important thing when building your brand is not just to be consistent with your handle and profile picture but to have multiple platforms in which you can be consistent on. It’s easy to be consistent when you have only Facebook or Twitter but to really build your brand, you must operate like a major network. This means putting yourself out there on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and even creating your own blog, to name a few. Studies have shown that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other, the six degrees of separation. Social media has allowed connecting with people and things even easier, so by being a presence on each of these sites, you’re allowing yourself to be found and making it easier to find what you need.

Branding is also about promotion. You must promote what you do best in the right places. In order to promote yourself in a professional sense, becoming a presence on LinkedIn, no matter your industry or niche, offers numerous opportunities and rewards. The mind map below presents ways in which you can develop your LinkedIn profile to ensure you make the most out of an authentic professional online profile.

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Sources

BBC, 2013. Job hunting: How to promote yourself online

 Jon Ronson, 2015. How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life

Jobvite, 2014. Social Recruiting Survey

Lisa Harris, 2014. Using Social Media in your Job Search

John Lowery, 2016. Learning how to brand yourself

Richard Carruthers, 2012. Managing your Digital Footprint

Hiredmyway, 2011. Social Media 101: Personal Branding

Wikipedia. Six degrees of separation

Dummies.com. How to create effective and professional online profiles