Topic 3: Professional online identities

topic 3 - a quick think back
One of the ways in which people can utilise multiple online identities (discussed in Topic 2), is through a professional personal divide, and last week I asked an important question: does the ability to edit yourself and create partial identities allow for authenticity? 

(Infographic 1 created by me)

I find this week’s topic on ‘authentic’ professional identities somewhat problematic as the nature of a professional identity involves editing and ‘selling’ yourself.




However, we can understand the notion of ‘selling’ in terms of a professional identity as still reflecting you, but just a carefully selected version of you… and that’s what developing an authentic professional profile involves: managing both your personal and professional profiles efficiently and editing yourself whilst maintaining an accurate depiction of the real you.

(Powtoon created by me, stats from Jobvite)

Tapscott (2014) talks of ‘The Net Generation’ as tech-savvy Millennials who should make use of these skills as new business environments replace hierarchy with creativity and collaboration. Using social media and the web engages you in networks, idea sharing, and interactions with companies and others that build relationships before employment.

why you should consider blogging.png

The Employable (2014) suggests creating and maintaining a professional blog as it demonstrates passion and dedication.

Cangiano (2012) further explores the benefits of blogging (Infographic 2 created by me).












Watch this video on how to create an effective WordPress blog using the Elementor plugin:

Blogging should be seen as part of a larger technique of marketing yourself  and developing a ‘personal brand’ across multiple platforms. You’ve perhaps only got ’10 seconds’ to wow an employer, a process Lisa likens to Snapchat. Standing out with a blog or a brand can get you noticed.

LinkedIn is specifically designed for doing this and is a crucial part of most online professional identities. I advise you to check out their YouTube channel where you can find videos on site accessibility, enhancing your skills and altering your mindset, and personal brand success stories. OR, for an overview of using LinkedIn as a ‘marketing tool’ and specific methods of doing so effectively, see the video below by Martin Henley.

However, it is equally important to decrease visibility on other platforms; consider your personal online identity. Keep your social life out of employers view and consider sites like Facebook and Twitter as actively giving others the power to act as a jury and judge you. Make sure your digital footprint doesn’t get you in trouble or lead employers and contacts to an unmonitored public digital identity. An extreme case of carelessness and exposure is explored in Jon Ronson’s TedTalk video about privacy, social media and the case of Justine Sacco.

Word count: 437


BBC, (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].

Burton, S. (2017). Topic 2: Multiple Online Identities. [Blog] Learning to ‘Live and Work on the Web’. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Cangiano, A. (2012). Why Every Professional Should Consider Blogging. [Blog] Technical Blogging. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Elementor, (2017). How to make a WordPress website. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Harris, L. (2014). Using social media in your job search. [Blog] Web Science MOOC. Available at: [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].

Henley, M. (2014). How to Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Jobvite, (2014). Social Recruiting Survey. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].

LinkedIn, (2017). LinkedIn. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Ronson, J. (2015). How one tweet can ruin your life. Available at: [Accessed 10 Mar. 2017].

The Employable, (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. [online] TheEmployable. Available at: [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Infographic 1, Infographic 2 and Powtoon video created by me


19 thoughts on “Topic 3: Professional online identities

  1. Hi Scott!
    Well done for the post on this topic! Really enjoyed how you linked again to your previous articles in the introduction. Despite being very informative, I felt like your infographics missed some graphic elements to better emphasize the things visually. Out of curiosity, is there a reason for not doing that?

    I am glad that you pointed out the benefits of blogging for improving your online professional profile. However, you quoted Nik Nyman’s article and he says that throwing more than just a blog in the mix and make use of social media for your job hunt. How would you act if you were job searching? Do you think the employers would praise something like an page on your CV? If you look at the personal brand checklist from here, where would you place yourself?
    Looking forward for your answers!

    Kind regards,
    Work count: 146


    1. Hi Andrei,
      Thank you for your comment! Glad you liked the link – I’m trying to keep connections between the posts to further my understanding of each topic as some themes seem to connect. As for the infographics, I’m new to blogging and had never made any visuals before this module so I’m still learning. I definitely want to incorporate more graphics within them in the future but I have been finding it difficult to find the relevant graphics on the infographic creator itself, and am unsure how to upload my own or whether this is worth the time. Any advice?

      In regards to the ‘’ page, I think it’s more about the overall appearance, style, content, quality, personality and professionality of the blog that employers would look for / at, rather than just that page. They are unlikely to read through your whole blog, but a quick scan could portray a certain image of a future employee. Also, blogging is more than just a presentation of yourself, it allows you to develop skills and networks that may help in future employment (see my infographic above).

      And as for my personal brand, I would say I don’t have one as of yet! I don’t use enough social networking sites consistently to build ‘a consistent narrative’ and I lack an identity through a ‘professional headshot’, but your comment and this module in general are beginning to make me think about being authentic and professional online and how this will help me after university.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Scott,

        Good to hear your thoughts to my question! Which infographic creator do you use? I found Piktochart quite generous with the free graphics availability, but I like Canva more because I find it more intuitive, but their free graphics are limited… I was actually trying to find a source for this kind of PNG smart graphics that I can use in Photoshop. I’ll let you know how my search goes and post here if I find anything interesting.

        I completely agree with your thoughts on how your blog could be assessed by a recruiter and I think that’s why creating a personal profile on would really make their job easier… So, that’s something that could be considered during the process of building a personal brand online.

        Looking forward for your future posts!



      2. I’m back with an update to my previous comment. Couldn’t really find a website having PNG graphics that can be used and modified any for commercial use, but I found out that Google is quite generous when it comes to this. The key is using the right search criteria. I managed to find a solid number of results with these settings under advanced search. Furthermore, it’s an excellent ‘centralised content platform’ for graphics search.



      3. Hi again,

        Since your first comment, I have actually gone away and tried out the website! I realised I had the wrong impression of it as I thought it would be restricting – after accessing it I can see how an page could summarise and showcase a ‘brand’ in a more concise and cleaner way that a blog itself. As you mentioned, it would save recruiters time rather than ‘scanning’. However, I would still consider a blog as important too as it shows the skills, motivation and consistency mentioned.

        With regards to the graphics, I have tried out the creative commons link you provided and can see its use – especially the Open Clip Art Gallery for small add-on graphics. I have also taken note of your search settings and look forward to utilising graphics in the future.

        Many thanks for your comments / help,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Scott,
    Great post! Firstly, i would like to comment on the infographic you created. I thought it was a great way to start your post as it allowed me to quickly recap on previous weeks and use that knowledge to help me understand better this new topic. You made some very interesting reflective points, for example where you mentioned the term “authentic” can be problematic as the nature of a professional identity involves editing and selling yourself. I had not considered this before. Do you think that a online identity can be truly authentic by hiding certain aspects of ourselves to the online community? I also liked the 6 reasons you gave for starting a blog. They have encouraged me to think about starting my own new blog about fashion. Is this your first blog? Overall i found your post very informative and exciting to read because you included lots of different media and i look forward to reading your next posts.
    Kind Regards

    Word count:166

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Cherie,
    I’m glad you enjoyed my post and I look forward to you returning to my blog again!
    Yes this is my first blog and I can already see that I am developing some of the skills mentioned in my infographic, just liked you’ve mentioned.
    I think your questions highlights the complexity of authenticity! The nature of ‘hiding’ aspects of ourselves is inauthentic, however, privacy can allow us to still keep / show our identity, but we can just limit who sees various personas. Whether this is authentic is debatable, but a professional / personal separation seems a necessary divide considering how different our personal and professional lives are in real life – so maybe we should accept some level of inauthenticity. Do you agree that this is necessary?
    Thank you for your comment!


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