Building my Professional Profile
The aim is to build up a profile on three social media platforms. The ones I have chosen are: Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. These have been chosen for several reasons: LinkedIn seems to be the most useful for career building and professional promotion. From the readings: it has 277m+ users in 200+ countries, its use is purely professional, and should be treated like an online “CV”. I felt that it was in my best professional interest to focus most of my time and energy on this. Twitter is interesting as it allows direct contact to many companies and industry influencers. You can choose who you follow and tweet at, giving a lot more freedom than other platforms. This direct access is the main reasons that is such a useful professional tool, nowhere else would I be able to contact the companies, or people directly like this. Lastly Google+. Though it did not turn out to be the “Facebook Killer” that it was hyped up to be, I find Google+ to be very useful in the additional services it provides. With its group chat and video conferencing function it provides useful tools that easily facilitate collaboration, without the need for using an additional provider such a Skype.
I did not choose to focus on Facebook or YouTube for two reasons. Firstly, Facebook is much more social network, and to be used for non work related reasons. I have a profile on it, but would like to keep it strictly personal and private. YouTube, though an interesting platform, does not really help me develop my professional profile in any way. That is not to say that it isn’t a useful tool, but at this juncture in my career the three most useful platforms for building my professional profile are LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. LinkedIn and Twitter are especially useful for building an online presence, while Google+ is great for the professional tools it provides. Additionally, this blog is also a medium through which I can build my professional presence, though it should serve as a means to tie all my information together rather than being a stand alone feature. Now to examine each platform in turn:
From reading the notes and general knowledge, I felt that the most important part of building a professional profile was to focus on my LinkedIn account. I already had a LinkedIn page which I set up to help with my job search after university, though it was not particularly eye-catching or noteworthy. The picture below shows what my profile looked like before I overhauled it. There is some general information there but my new position at Tourism Ireland is not included, the picture is old, and I have not yet connected with many of my new work colleagues. Overall the profile, while not terrible, is unremarkable and unmemorable – two things that I definitely do not want to be associated with when building my professional profile.
I overhauled my LinkedIn profile to include my current position, my areas of skill and expertise, and to better reflect my overall professional status.
Changes include a more recent photo, a completed summary, an eye-catching and job relevant background photo and more job specific connections. I have also updated my skills and expertise, and included my current position in the experience section. My profile strength now shows as All Star, really highlighting the positive changes I have made.
I created a Twitter account in 2009 but was never an active user. However my new role in Tourism Ireland includes helping to manage the Twitter account for the German market. This has not only given me an insight into how Twitter is used by companies, but also shown me how it can be a useful tool personally and professionally. Though I am still not a very active tweeter, I now use Twitter daily to get news and updates related to my field of work. While my Twitter feed is not solely for work purposes, I am particularly careful about the content that I like or re-tweet as my profile is public. Below is my Twitter before I updated it. I have no picture, am only following 15 people and have two followers. Again, it is uninspiring and unremarkable and does not accurately represent the professional online presence that I want to show.
I really want to use my twitter as place to garner information about tourism and marketing industries, so I set about following relevant companies and people in the industry.
I added a photo of myself working at a trade fair, as well as a relevant background image. Both these are tied to my job, and help me boost my professional profile. I am now following 143 people, and have 24 followers. This is still not a huge amount but my Twitter feed is now full of job relevant news, tips and industry insights.
My updated Twitter profile not only accurately reflects my professional life, but helps me keep abreast of all the latest industry news and developments. To further advance my professional online presence my next step with Twitter is to actively start tweeting, rather than only using it as a news source.
As mentioned above, I find Google+ to be especially useful in the services it offers. I used it a lot when doing group work for my studies, as it provided a quick and easy way communicate with others through group chats and free conference calling. Though my presence on it is not huge, its usefulness as a professional tool should not be overlooked. Having Google+ as a communication tool allows me to keep other methods such as my Skype account purely for personal use. In addition to the easy communication Google+ is also a good tool for sharing information and creating communities of like-minded people.
Overall I feel that I now have a very strong professional presence. LinkedIn gives me access to industry peers and other professionals, along with showcasing my own profile, Twitter keeps me updated with all the latest news and developments, and Google+ provides me with the tools necessary to communicate easily, effectively and professionally.