Topic 3: Building a Professional Digital Profile

Social media is increasingly important in recruitment and employment (University of Southampton, 2012; Jobvite, 2014; BBC, 2013; The Employable, 2014b). A recent survey by Jobvite (2014) shows that increasingly companies and graduate recruiters are using social media to advertise jobs and recruit individuals, they refer to this as ‘social recruiting

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In 2014 Jobvite (2014) found that 73% of employers planned to use social networks to recruit candidates with a massive 94% using LinkedIn, 66% using Facebook and 52% using Twitter.

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As social media becomes such an important source of recruiting it is not only beneficial for job seekers to be actively using social media in the application process it is steadily becoming a necessity. 79% of recruiters who have hired a candidate through social media have used LinkedIn (Jobvite, 2014). As one of the fastest growing social media networks and as a social network designed for professional use it is an important platform for applicants (BBC, 2013; Zhang, 2014; University of Southampton, 2012).

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Here is a video I made on the key points to follow in building a good LinkedIn profile:

A number of sources (BBC, 2013; Zhang, 2014; Vines, 2014) argue that the best strategy is to build a clear brand across sites but that fundamentally it is important that this brand is authentic because it will be obvious at some point – even if it is after you have got the job – that you weren’t being genuine and because it may be that the authentic you is exactly what a recruiter is looking for!

The Employable (2014b) highlight that profiles beyond more traditional ones such as LinkedIn can have an important role to play. These online profiles such as a blog which show your hobbies and interests (Chatroop, 2013; The Employable, 2014b) add to the authentic representation of you online which is useful for employers to perhaps understand how you might fit into the team, which is something which was mentioned in a discussion I had with Ammaar for the previous topic (Topic 2 Post). In addition to this, they can be strategically used by applicants as they can be an opportunity to show your creativity, passion and dedication amongst other things which are all things employers might look for, even if the subject matter doesn’t seem directly relevant (Chatroop, 2013; The Employable, 2014a).

It is important to remember to maintain consistency and unity across online profiles on different social networking sites for example Twitter, LinkedIn and a blog (Monster, N.D.; BBC, 2013). The BBC (2013) video argues that this can be done through use of the same message, bio, pictures, name, handle and general branding guidelines such as the same colours (Monster, N.D.; BBC, 2013). This makes it much easier for recruiters to identify you across platforms and to see the full picture of you online in a way that has been carefully constructed by you.



BBC. (2013, December). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online [VIDEO]. Retrieved March 2016, from BBC:

Chatroop, L. (2013, October). Top 8 Hobbies to Boost Your Employability. Retrieved March 2016, from Good&Co:

Jobvite. (2014, October). 2014 Social Recruiting Survey. Retrieved March 2016, from Jobvite:

Marr, B. (2015, June). How To Create A Killer LinkedIn Profile That Will Get You Noticed. Retrieved March 2016, from LinkedIn:

Monster. (N.D.). How do I build a professional profile? Retrieved March 2016, from Monster:

The Employable. (2014a, September). Which hobbies help your employability? Retrieved March 2016, from The Employable:

The Employable. (2014b, October). How blogging can help you get a job. Retrieved March 2016, from The Employable:

University of Southampton. (2012, August). Managing Your Digital Footprint [VIDEO]. Retrieved March 2016, from University of Southampton:

Vines, N. (2014, August). Why is it important to develop an authentic professional presence online? Retrieved March 2016, from Nick Vines:

Zhang, L. (2014, May). The Secret to Building a LinkedIn Profile That Gets Results. Retrieved March 2016, from The Muse:


Images: – public domain, Jobvite, 2014 Social Recruiting Survey

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Stuart Smith says:

    Hi Ellie,

    Fantastic post and very creative video! I definitely agree with your view that consistency and unity should be maintained across your online professional profiles. This is something that I have tried to achieve by linking both the pieces of work I have completed and my other social media accounts together and as a result I am now more confident that I am providing a greater level of transparency and authenticity to an employer.

    Whilst I recognise the importance of creating a ‘brand’ amongst your professional profiles, to what extent do you believe this needs to be maintained? Do you feel that using the same pictures, biographies and messages that you mentioned in your post should be transferred into social media platforms that are only used for personal use, or is it only for the platforms that seek to attract a professional audience?



    1. Hi Stuart, I think I wouldn’t want anything that appears very ‘off-brand’ to appear on the sites I use for personal purposes like Facebook, these would be things such as drinking etc. But I would say that I don’t think it’s necessary to maintain the consistency over onto these sites. I then manage this by being really careful about my privacy settings and who can see what on my Facebook profile, and then being careful about who I have as friends. What do you think and what do you do yourself?
      Thanks for your comment!


  2. Tom Leese says:

    Hi Ellie, I really liked this blog post and especially the video! I agree what you were saying about keeping your profile consistent, but I think this can be very hard with LinkedIn aiming at professional use and Facebook/Twitter going for a more friendly, personal experience. How do you feel knowing that although most employers are likely to try and find you on LinkedIn, 50-60% are also going to look for you on Facebook and Twitter, which might give a different impression of you than you wanted?


    1. Hi Tom, thanks for your comment! I think you are right and it is a concern although I don’t think I have anything inappropriate on either site if it really came down to it. For Twitter I do use this for more professional purposes although I think I could utilise this a lot better, I also often use it to show things like my hobbies or interested which are appropriate and are likely things I would share on a CV. These tend to be things like crafts or creative projects etc. But I certainly could do more with Twitter. For Facebook like I said I don’t have anything I think is inappropriate but I do use it very much as a personal social network. The way that I manage my Facebook with regards to employers then it by being really tight with my privacy settings so people I’m not friends with can see very little. I then carefully manage who I add as friends. I use this ( to see how other people would see me profile, a useful little tool. Have a look at your own Facebook profile and see what an employer would be able to find out about you, is it what you would want?


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