Digitally Portraying the Professional within

Photo by Steven Depolo. Source:

Now that personal statements and CV’s are relatively short and limited in scope, employers are constantly looking for new avenues to single out that a candidate is truly passionate about their work, whilst also being a well-rounded human being! With the advent of digital and real-life personas becoming one and the same with platforms such as linkedin, it is quickly becoming a necessity to have such a presence if you wish to stand a chance at all:

“If you haven’t started [making a digital profile] then you’re already late to the game” – Michael Weiss (1)

And the statistics back this up; according to the Social Recruiting Survey results for 2014, over 90% of recruiters use Linkedin as an aid in recruitment ((2) page 8), whilst they have also recruited applicants through social sites such as Facebook (26%), Twitter (14%) and even candidate’s blogs (7%)!

In light of this you should aim to:

1.Spread your professional profile as widely as possible: Zadi Diaz (3) recommends keeping all your maintained social web pages linked, and consistent with your ‘brand’,with a clear image of yourself as an avatar. This creates a “one-stop-shop” that points back to yourself and allows for recruiters to see your professional profile in the most efficient manner possible and what you represent.

2.Connectivity/Networks: As mentioned by Lisa Harris (4), it is important to follow important figures and corporations in fields you are interested in to both show your interest whilst also keeping you up to date on the latest news and job openings in all these fields. Connecting yourself to aspects of your Company, College or Colleagues (5) can associate yourself with strong brands, thereby elevating your own.

3.Make your voice heard: whether it’s through a blog, or twitter, or even comments, your voice can spread fast online. As Justine Sacco (6) found out, her tweet to 170 followers became the No.1 trend on twitter within 24 hours. All you have to ensure is that it’s for the right reasons. If someone with a large online profile endorses you or even retweets you, it could be the spark which blows up your blog!

4. Narrative: As Shama Hyder states (5), if your fields of interest are varied, try to find unifying themes which will allow your branding to remain strong whilst making your varied interests able to complement one another, strengthening your image further.

Now all that remains is for you to start creating a brand people will happily invest in!


1. BBC, quote by Michael Weiss

2. Jobvite

3. 7 Steps to building your online identity

4.Using social media in your job search – Lisa Harris

5.7 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Personal Brand – Forbes (Shama Hyder)

6.How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life – New York Times Magazine (Jon Ronson)

Digitally Portraying the Professional within

4 thoughts on “Digitally Portraying the Professional within

  1. Hi Jens,

    This is a blog post I really like, as you highlited the most important aspects of creation of a professional profile. The four points you made are clearly well thought out and add interesting advice. What really impressed me is that you managed to turn the Justine Sacco’s case into an argument ‘for’ using the Web professionaly (with an appropriate sidenote: “ensure is that it’s for the right reasons” 😉 ).

    I am not sure whether similar saying exists in English, but in my native language we describe the narcistic showbiz as “those who do not care if their name is mentioned in a possitive or negative manner, all that counts is that it is mentioned at all”. So there you go, another way to create a ‘professional’ profile :).

    I found the fourth point most interesting. For me, what makes many blogs interesting is that they focus on a specific topic, often joining two or more broader subject. An example may be a blog I have found a few months ago, focusing on the law of modern technology (unfortunately, it is in Polish: What I find interesting in such websites is that they offer something unique, different from the standard journalist description. What is your view on this topic? If you were to start a professional blog, what would you write about?


    1. Firstly, thanks Bartosz for the comment!

      I definitely think that the opportunity for actions or content going ‘viral’ on the internet is a great driving force for many creators of content on the web today. Although we all know that scandals are more likely to attract huge amounts of attention quicker than positive content, I don’t think either force should be underestimated as long as you believe the work you are putting into your own brand is to a high level.

      That’s a good saying, and it may well be that we have a similar saying in English “All attention is good attention” ( perhaps? I think it is an interesting thought, as I am sure there are people who have managed to use the spotlight from a PR mishap to go on to do something good.

      I definitely think in a day and age where most aspects of life are covered and reviewed by the news or other large scale corporations that there may come with that chances for corruption and bias to sway opinions. It’s because of this that maybe we should not lose sight of the ‘little man’ who writes blogs, reviewing technology/movies/products and all manner of things, purely for the interest, and not financial gain. Good question though and maybe more difficult for me than maybe it should be, but I suppose I might like to do a roundup and critique of the weekly news from multiple sources, see if I have a differing opinion on matters and would be interested in sharing debate and conversation with commenters. Definitely the more interactive I could make it, the better!


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