Managing Your Online Professional Profile

Video credit: Managing Your Online Professional Profile – posted by The Digital Tattoo Project YouTube



Why cultivate an online profile?

The fact is that even those of us who aren’t active on social media have a visible online presence. A quick Google search of your name will likely pull up a lot of information about you, and depending on what you have posted in the past, not all of it may match the image of yourself that you want the world to see. We all have a digital dossier and as we discuss on our “Overexposed” page, lots of employers perform cyber-vetting to weed out potential employees. Some universities in the United States have even started rescinding offers of admission based upon candidates’ past social media posts.


Taking control of your personal information allows you to shape your digital identity and to connect with others, and this is particularly important for students and new graduates. Social networking and social media can help you find jobs, meet people with similar interests to yours, or find out what’s going on where you live. Your strategies for social media depend entirely upon your goals. If you want a polished, professional set of profiles to help you land your dream job, you should keep your profiles consistent and connected by maintaining the tone of your posts, using the same, up to date profile photo, or linking your accounts across profiles. If you instead use different platforms for different purposes or want a little extra privacy, consider upping your privacy settings and creating profiles with distinct user names, looks, and feels. However, there is no guarantee that people won’t be able to realize your accounts are all by you, even if they aren’t linked.


You don’t even need to participate all that much (despite popular opinion); just do what works for you!


Think before you ink

Things to consider:

  • What is your purpose for cultivating an online profile and what do you want people to be able to see? Do you simply want to network online? Do you want to collaborate with others in your field? Are you looking to create and disseminate original content? This will impact what you post and where you post it.
  • Who is your audience? Knowing who your content is directed towards will influence not only what you post, but your tone as well.
  • Consider the intended use of each platform and think about how the platforms themselves influence expression. (Twitter’s 280-character limit seems to be the most commonly-cited example.)
  • Depending on your professional interests, it may be wise to have both ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ accounts on certain social sites. This will allow you to be more ‘free’ on your personal account, while still maintaining a professional online profile.
  • If you don’t want one of your social networks to be found by your employer or colleagues, consider improving your privacy settings on those sites that you wish to keep personal.
  • Learn about e-portfolios and decide if they are a good option to up your academic online profile.


The Digital Tattoo Project encourages critical discussion on topics surrounding digital citizenship and online identity. There are no correct answers and every person will view these topics from a different perspective. Be sure to complete the previous sections before answering the questions.

  • Do you think having an online presence is important when searching for employment?
  • Have you googled yourself recently? Did you like what you saw?


5 responses to “Managing Your Online Professional Profile”

  1. Aziz Khaalid Syed

    online presence is important for employment as it helps the employer to know about you better.

    I have googled myself recently and it is quite professional as i can only see my linkedIn profile and it is showing all the relevant information which will be required by any employer.

    1. Jaclyn Fong

      Thank you for sharing your experience! Indeed, managing your online presence effectively can be a way to build your professional portfolio.

  2. Rezwan

    Really helpful content.

    1. Jaclyn Fong

      Thank you for your kind words! We’re happy you found it helpful.

  3. Szu Yun Chen

    Yes, having an online identity is important for job hunting. It is said 93% of recruiters have searched online before deciding to invite you to an interview, if your reputation online is not well, there is a big chance you get washed out of the competition.
    I have googled myself just this week, I found literally nothing on google search, the result pleased me because I think privacy is important for me. But for future use it might seem like not enough and need an adjustment.

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