Don’t underestimate the importance that employers now put on social media. The graphic below from Jobvite (2014: 7)  illustrates which sites employers use the most.


Recruiters don’t just use social media to advertise for jobs anymore, they also use it to screen candidates and so it is now more important than ever to have a professional online profile.

But how do you make it authentic and what does authentic mean??


The above graphic is what I believe authentic is, but when it comes to having a professional online profile isn’t the whole point to show the best possible version of yourself? But that might not be your authentic self. Furthermore, which social media site would you use to convey authenticity? On the one hand Twitter might be best because you can tweet every thought that passes through your brain; conversely Instagram might be better because you can have photographic evidence of every stage of your life.

Similarly, if you do some how manage to build an authentic profile, how can employers tell?? It is quite easy to have an ‘authentic’ thought on Twitter come across wrong, or fake an extraordinary lifestyle on instagram – as evidenced by the below case studies. Either way, the World Economic Forum (2016) pointed out that with the rise of social media and digital fluency there needs to be a ‘rethinking of talent management’.


So I don’t think that you can build a truly authentic professional online profile…but you can build just a professional online profile.

If you google this question you get 83,800,00 results in 0.82 seconds – an insane amount. Some of the information out there is really helpful, but a lot of it is repetitive and contradictory. For instance the BBC uploaded a video (shown below) saying that you want a fair amount of information on your professional profile, but not too much because it might put off a potential employer (????).


After doing my own research, collating the information from various sources – including the University of Southampton’s career department- and seperating the wheat from the chaff, I made the below chart that illustrates how to make a professional online

Seems simple enough…



Anon, (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016].

BBC News. (2016). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online – BBC News. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016]. (2016). Emotional Competency – Authentic Self. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016].

Harris, L. (2016). Using social media in your job search – Web Science MOOC. [online] Web Science MOOC. Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016]. (2016). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2016].

Panopto. (2016). LinkedIn 08 August 2012 at 10:11:02. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016].

PetaPixel. (2016). This Artist Got 90K Instagram Followers with Photos of a Fake Lavish Lifestyle. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016].

Ronson, J. (2016). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016].

The Balance. (2016). How to Build a Professional Online Presence. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2016].

World Economic Forum. (2016). Five ways talent management must change. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2016].