Topic Three – Online Professional Profiles

One of the more common messages I receive from my dad these days is along the lines of “get that photo of you with a beer off Facebook, no one will hire you!”. While I’m no raging alcoholic he does raise a valid point, employers are increasingly looking at candidates social media pages (Snowdon, 2011). In fact, 92% of employers would investigate a candidates profile before making a decision on whether or not to employ them according to recruiting platform Jobvite.

One of the key ways in which an authentic profile can be created is by the linking of multiple social media sites in order to best market yourself. This was raised in the previous topic when a blogger referenced this linking of sites with an increase in validity, while Lisa Harris (2014) recommends implementing the same display picture on every social media site used by a person in order to help “market yourself” by encompassing networking and previously developed skills and attributes.


Figure 1: Created  by Arthur Boulding using data from Jobvite (2015).

Employers are thus increasingly using social media to assist them in the recruitment process. It is interesting however to investigate the platforms they mainly choose to investigate. Jobvite’s survey in 2015 reported that 87% of employers will use LinkedIn to vet a candidate, while 55% will use Facebook and 47% will use Twitter, while the same survey in 2014 gave slightly higher percentages for each site in a similar ratio.

These figures would rate the importance of LinkedIn dramatically above other social media sites in the professional world, reflecting the website’s key purpose which is to produce a professional identity while creating a professional network. LinkedIn is not just useful as a tool for being employed, it is vital in inter business networking as it allows for both companies and individuals within them to make and use accounts, with Tapscott (2014) suggesting that greater inter connectivity within an organisation as well as externally can be a beneficial collaboration of knowledge. The below video again emphasises the importance of LinkedIn in networking while employed (rather than seeking employment).

Another aspect that is considered vital to the development of an authentic online professional profile is that of blogging. When writing in depth about a subject regularly it can keep you updated and knowledgeable on a topic while demonstrating creativity, commitment and professionalism (Harris, 2014) which can be particularly effective when the subject is that of ones chosen industry.



L Harris, 2014, Using social media in your job search, University of Southampton, available at: accessed on 10/11/2016.

M Henley, 2014, How to Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile, The Effective Marketing Company, available at: accessed on 10/11/16.

Jobvite, 2014, Social recruiting Survey, available at:, accessed on 09/11/2016.

Jobvite, 2015, The Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey, available at: accessed on 10/11/2016

G Snowdon, 2011, The Rules of Social Reccruiting,The Guardian, available at: accessed on 09/11/16

D Tapscott, 2014, Five ways talent management must change, World Economic Forum, available at: accessed on 10/11/2016.


A Welch, 2016, Topic Two: Multiple Online Identities, WordPress, available at: accessed on 

Admin, 2014, How blogging can help you get a job, available at: accessed on: 10/11/2016

Image, available at: accessed on 10/11/2016


7 thoughts on “Topic Three – Online Professional Profiles

  1. Hi Arthur,

    Your post was strong with evidence that nails home that the business world is increasingly moving towards the digital age and no longer just about the person but whats behind that person. As well as how they are at work and at home, they are employing a person and not just a robot to do work.

    One area I would like to question you on is that of authenticity and whether online is different to offline, i.e. does the definition change dependent on whether it is virtual or not.

    But also do you think level of authenticity changes across platform, drawing on last weeks post. Because I find that my blog will have more of my personality in it but my Facebook will have more of my connections and a different side of my personality. Do we need to collate all platforms together to create an authentic person?


    1. Hi Joe, thanks for your response!
      I personally believe the online and offline worlds are not so different, but conveying slightly differing personalities online may be slightly more tricky. However much people try to stay the same I believe they will always change according to their environment, suggest you were to meet the Queen one day and prevent a street robbery the next, your behaviour will vary. As long as it’s acceptable and you’re comfortable with the level of decency displayed this should be relatively easy to convey on social media platforms, although there are exceptions as I mentioned in my previous blog.
      I personally believe we don’t have to collate all platforms to be authentic, however there should be some level of personal trace across them in order to remain authentic e.g. Having a purely professional LinkedIn account while having an Instagram account dedicated to avocado recipes.


  2. Hi Arthur,
    Nice blog and once again an amusing opening paragraph is always a great way to start in my opinion. Your humorous words struck a chord with me as my parents have told me to remove things from my online profiles too. In my blog I went to show the reader that I had taken the advice on board and changed my profiles accordingly, did you do the same?

    I see you have focused quite intensively on LinkedIn, I found some more up-to-date statistics on employers usage of LinkedIn that may interest you –
    Let me know if anything surprises you.

    I’ve also found from my own research that a lot of graduate job applications don’t entail using LinkedIn something that amazes me given the statistics we have both uncovered over the last week. Have you found this to be the case too? Do you even have a LinkedIn account personally? – Its something I’ve only created recently.

    Look forward to the next post, keep up those funny opening lines!



    1. Hi Zac, glad you’re enjoying my humour, given some of the feedback I’m tempted to set up a comedic blog after this one! I am yet to make any concrete changes to my profile(s) so cannot display that yet I’m afraid, but perhaps when I’m happy with them I will share them in a comment on the blog post.
      Interesting stats from the LinkedIn article you shared with me, much the same as I’ve already seen but just providing further evidence that it’s a lot more important than Facebook and Twitter, something I find surprising given that I’d imagine employers to use the latter two to discover a more rounded picture of a candidate. I cannot however access the full article so cannot fully accept the stats are more reliable than the ones I shared, which use quite a large data set.
      I imagine they won’t tell you their using LinkedIn but will indeed give you a look on the website, slightly sneaky but understandable I think. I’m yet to make a LinkedIn account, despite several family members persistently inviting me to join. Worry not though, it’s high up on my to do list.


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