Topic 3: Authentic Professional Online Profile


In a nutshell, social recruiting is a strategy that’s used to hire candidates by looking through social media networks as a talent agency. On platforms such as LinkedIn, companies can scout eligible candidates for recruitment without having to use the traditional methods of newspaper advertisements or agency placements.

This method can be beneficial for both employers and potential employees. More employers will be able to save money by joining the “33% of recruiters” (Jobvite, 2014:12) who spend nothing on social recruiting. Also, both employers and employees can save the time and stress of rigorous interview processes by handpicking candidates online and doing a ‘social screening’ to determine their suitability for a role.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 18.50.56

Figure 1: Visual representation of two types of recruitment 


Here are some tips I’ve compiled from videos and posts on how to make optimum use of social media to create an authentic professional profile:

Figure 2: Click here for slideshow presentation on how to get a job through social recruitment


The main problem is that in a sense, your social media accounts are constantly being watched before and possibly after you’ve been hired. This was the case for Justine Sacco, who made a post ridiculing her chances of contracting AIDS on a trip to Africa, resulting in her getting fired. However, this is not an isolated case, and social media posts have caused other employees to get dismissed:


Discrimination is another problem. For example, there are only “2 percent Latino members” of the “15.4 percent Latino” (Belicove, 2010) population in the US are registered on LinkedIn. Looking solely at social media excludes a large chunk of people who are not social media users but could be perfect candidates for the job.


With all this in mind, the question is: how can we express ourselves freely on social media? The problem with using social media is that we’re becoming so reliant on it, its purpose is somewhat being lost. Revis (2015) highlighted that “we’ve begun to eliminate the most powerful thing about sharing platforms”. We nolonger use it “for meaningful social debate” so we don’t have to “risk our livelihoods on what we believe in” (Revis, 2015). In my opinion, social media should be a place where people can express themselves freely, contributing to why multiple online identities are necessary, as stated in Topic 2.

However, can we authentically express ourselves if we know that every post could cost us a job offer?

Word Count: 398



BBC (2013, December 18). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. (Video File) [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

Belicove, M.E., (2010, April 10) Pitfalls of Using Social Media as an HR Tool. Entrepreneur. [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

Harris, L., (2014) Using social media in your job search. The University of Southampton Web Science MOOC. [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

Muyanja, L., (2017, March 4) Topic 2: Multiple Online Identities. WordPress. [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

Jobvite (2014). Social Recruiting Survey Results 2014. [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

Revis, L., (2015, July 22) Social Media & Censorship: Freedom of Expression and Risk. Huffington Post. [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

Ronson, J (2015, February 12) How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. NY Times. [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

Tapscott, (2014, October 30). Five Ways Talent Management Must Change. World Economic Forum. [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

The Employable (2014, October 28). How blogging can help you get a job. [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

The University of Southampton (2014, August 8). LinkedIn. (Video File) [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

[Listopedia] (2016, January 23) 5 Tweets That Got People Fired. (Video File) [Accessed: 12 March 2017]

Featured Image: Pixabay

Figures 1 & 2: Self-produced


17 thoughts on “Topic 3: Authentic Professional Online Profile

  1. Hi Louise!

    Well done on your blog which I found very interesting and informative!

    Your blog was clear to read and well laid out with good use of media! In addition, your blog successfully highlighted the importance of the shift from traditional CV recruitment to the use of online recruitment through social media and presented a clear example of social media burdening an individuals professional identity.

    With some constructive criticism I believe there is a way to present your Piktochart as an embedded file if you download it, as it’s very hidden through the link. Furthermore, with regards to presenting yourself online what do you feel are the most important things to consider when wishing to appear authentic with your profile? And with regards to your point on discrimination, is that actually a case of discrimination itself? If they are not on LinkedIn, surely this is just reducing their own chances of finding a job? Or is this linked to not having a connection to the internet meaning this service is not accessible?

    I look forward to keeping up with your blogs in the future!


    1. Hi Jordan,

      Thank you, your comments were very kind and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Also thanks for the piktochart advice, I’ll definitely embed the slideshow next time.
      In my opinion, appearing authentic online comes from actually being authentic – posting how you feel, designing your profiles according to your preferences etc. But this also comes with making sure you’re comfortable and not just posting information about yourself to “look authentic”.
      I see your point about the discrimination being due to people discriminating themselves by not having an account. My only thought on that was that the internet is moving at such a fast pace and innovating so many aspects of our lives, we can almost forget that not everyone is tech-savvy or even interested in it. I do feel that in order to be fair in the recruitment process, it may be best to use both avenues of recruiting to ensure the best person for the job is hired.
      Thanks for your comments.


  2. Hi Louise,

    Firstly, I would like to compliment your blog layout – the way you link your posts together makes topics connect seamlessly.

    Prior to your post, I hadn’t considered the exclusion of non-social media users with social recruitment. I personally believe this exclusion isn’t a big loss for recruiters. Businesses are continuously using digital for their operations. Consequently, someone who isn’t using social media can appear to not have the skills to carry out the job effectively. This article from the telegraph reinforces my view with stating that digital literacy is “as important as reading and writing”.

    Moreover, to answer the question at the end of your post – I believe although challenging, it’s possible to be authentic. I feel a lot of self believe goes into it and as long as your opinions aren’t inappropriate like Sacco’s case – authenticity is more of a pro than a con.

    Looking forward to your reply!




    1. Hi Eloane,

      Thanks for your kind comments, I’m glad it was easy to follow.
      Your point is definitely valid and unfortunately, we’re living in a digital world where if you’re not able to keep up with online innovation you can get left behind. There are very few roles that require no digital literacy, for example even teachers would’ve traditionally used physical resources like pens and whiteboards in classrooms, but have become more innovative in using online resources now i.e. MyMaths
      With regards to questioning authenticity, I would agree that authenticity is still achievable. Hopefully the knowledge that ‘you’re always being watched’ in a sense will encourage people to be more mindful and sensitive to some of the things they say online and even offline.
      Thank you again for your comments

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Louise, I think this is a fantastic blog and the subheadings neatly establish your set goals and create a consistent level of clarity throughout. I was really shocked to see and subsequently learn about the quite frankly horrifying discrimination statistics you have presented. Do you think anything can be done to combat this?

    Upon further reading around the area I was shocked to come across this article in which it is suggested discrimination against your age could determine whether or not you are sought after for a job. Which brings me onto my next point and has changed my initial opinion somewhat.

    I am intrigued to know why you believe there is such a large proportion of people not on social media? Within my blog post I suggest it is down to concept of natives/ immigrants, visitors/residents and as Tapscott (2014) calls them; “the net generation”.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


    Word count: 147


    Harriet Pigott:

    Richter, W. (2016) ‘Age discrimination on LinkedIn may keep you from getting a job’, Business Insider, 17 June. Available at: (Accessed: 15 March 2017).

    Tapscott (2014) Five ways talent management must change. Available at: (Accessed: 12 March 2017).

    (Not sure if my in text links worked so have provided all links in the references)


    1. Hi Harriet,

      Thank you very much, I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my post.
      To be honest, I was shocked myself by the discrimination figures, mostly to see that so many people that are BAME are still not represented on such a renowned recruitment network. I feel that the best way to change this is to educate people from an early age, especially around secondary years. The only thing we learn at that time is about how to use social media for ‘social’ purposes but it’s important that the ‘digital generation’ learn how to further themselves online as well – possibly also by targeting BAME groups in particular since they appear to be underrepresented on LinkedIn, as an example.
      Regarding why so many people are still not on social media, I would use myself as an example and suggest one reason as people being somewhat introverted. There are some aspects of social media that I just don’t find suit my personality. For example I had a Twitter account and deleted it about 4 years ago because I found that it wasn’t natural for me to tweet my thoughts, and it just wasn’t authentic to my personality. That definitely plays a role and I can admit myself could potentially be a drawback for me in the working world, since a lot of job applications now ask for social media links as well as CVs.
      The article attached on age discrimination is another negative aspect about social media. Even when people of the older generations are attempting to keep up-to-date online they’re being discriminated against. This is an issue that I feel employers will have to take responsibility of but I’d love to know your thoughts as well.
      Thank you for your insightful comments


  4. Thanks for your interesting blog! I enjoyed the video on the 5 tweets that got people fired, as it provided more context on the issue rather than just on the case of Justine Sacco like I had done in my blog.

    It’s interesting that you discussed our extent of freedom of speech if our profiles are being watched by employers and recruiters, as I discussed this on Mary’s comments in Topic 1. This article ( includes statistics that state less than half of people believe being fired because of a social media post is an infringement on freedom of speech. I would say it depends on what content you are posting, if it is unprofessional then that is understandable. However, it could be tricky to define what is simply unprofessional and what is a post that the company simply disagree with. I’d be interested to hear your own opinion on this.

    (Word count: 150)


    1. Hi Caiti,

      Thank you for your comments, I found the video very interesting to watch myself.
      I’m glad you’ve also identified the freedom of speech aspect within being online. I feel that so much of our life is lived out through the internet but a lot of it is monitored, as it should be, so there should be a balance of expression and acting appropriately online.
      Your opinion is definitely interesting and I do think that being sanctioned by a company or even fired over social media is appropriate if views that are communicated online aren’t in line with the companies beliefs. Usually a company will be in favour of things that are ‘normally’ fair i.e. not being racist or discriminatory, so if someone is fired over that, to me it seems fair. However, I feel that opinion posts i.e. I hate this tv show, aren’t as serious, as long as they’re not defamatory.
      Thanks for your thoughtful comments.


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