As part of this topic, I have learnt that creating and managing professional, authentic online identities is far from easy. A great deal of time and effort is needed to maintain high-quality profiles (Nyman, 2014b).
I have chosen to adapt my approach for this reflection, by analysing my own profiles. Below you will find a link to my eFolio blog post, which includes screenshots of my own professional online profiles (LinkedIn, Pathbrite and Twitter). Accompanying these images are brief assessments that make use of the ‘continuity’, ‘balance’ and ‘versatility’ criteria from my previous blog post.
Click here to see an evaluation of my own professional online profiles.
Granted, there are options available to help add depth to profiles such as blogging (The Employable, 2014) or completing MOOCs, although, discussions with fellow students encouraged me to consider what constitutes a truly ‘authentic’ profile (see discussion with Jordan), and whether it is possible to be visible amid concerns over deception (see discussion with Rachel). These concerns overlap with almost every digital realm, and force you to think about every online action. For instance: to what extend does your digital footprint reflect your identity? Is your search history a reflection of your identity?
There is also encouragement to ‘lock down’ profiles with heightened security (Carruthers, 2012), due to fears of identity theft. However, I believe this is counter-intuitive on social networking platforms. Openness is the very essence that LinkedIn thrives on. How can you expand your network if others are unable find you?
Creating and successfully managing multiple online profiles can be a significant challenge, with new challenges concerning authenticity and deception, publicity and privacy continually emerging.
While in-built assistance exists (see discussion with Ollie), Michael Weiss implies (BBC, 2013) that anyone currently not involved in online networks is disadvantaged. Perhaps those toward the ‘visitor’ end of White and Le Cornu’s (2011) continuum will fare worse in the today’s global, digital job market if they (or we) do not act soon.
Word Count: 326
BBC (2013) Job hunting: how to promote yourself online. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25217962 [Accessed on 07 March 2017].
Carruthers, R. (2012) Managing your digital footprint. Available at: http://coursecast.soton.ac.uk/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=2caea677-5fec-4c1a-9ad3-70320d724655 [Accessed on 06 March 2017].
The Employable (2014) How blogging can help you get a job. Available at: http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ [Accessed on 07 March 2017].
White, D. and Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors and residents: a new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16 (9).