Professional online brand

LinkedInI’m a big fan of social media and have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest and Instagram accounts, along with a defunct My Space page. I do however believe in keeping my professional and personal lives separate to some extent. I use Twitter and LinkedIn professionally, but do post some personal things on them, being careful of what I do post. I do this by thinking is this something I would tell my manager or future boss?

I find Twitter a great source of information pertinent to my studies and for building up professional networks in the LIS field. However 6 months ago, I was a Twitter sceptic and only opened an account as it was necessary to complete Information Programs in my first semester, which included a lot of Twitter Chats. I followed several people in the LIS field at the suggestion of Kate Davis, and some even follow me back. I am continually amazed by the amount of useful information I have picked up on it and I find it a great learning tool on my  meal breaks and train trips, as it is quick and snappy and can be easily accessed on my smart phone. On a personal level, I tweeted my favourite group on the day they were due to play in Brisbane and they responded, something I could have never imagined pre-Twitter.

My Linked In profile is a little neglected and tends to centre on my previous career, although my task this semester is to update it and make it relevant to my future rather than my past. This I feel will remain purely professional, as there doesn’t appear to be much scope for personal interaction.

My other social media accounts are purely personal, and on Facebook in particular, I have put in place privacy settings. I am still mindful of what I post, as I feel I should be setting an example of responsible social media use to my teenaged nieces and nephews. In truth, I rarely have opportunity to post anything which will come back to haunt me, as a middle aged married woman, studying full time and working part time.

How do I see my professional brand online? Well currently it needs some work to improve it, which I hope to achieve this semester. However, when I performed the Google search on my name, I couldn’t find anything that would damage any future job prospects. This is due mainly to the fact I am conscious of what I post online, but I also have a common name so am very difficult to find when searching. In order to get round this I include details of my social media sites that I want potential employers to peruse on my resume. I hope to be able to enhance my professional brand as I progress through Professional Practice and other units in this course and get relevant industry experience.


11 thoughts on “Professional online brand

  1. Nick G says:

    I’m glad you’re having positive experiences with Twitter. I’ve only just joined the semester for uni as well and am finding it interesting to see what comes through.
    It’s interesting to see you recognise yourself as a role model for nieces and nephews. Have you spoken with them about their use of SM, or is this just passive modelling?


    • Deborah Fuller says:

      My nieces and nephews are all overseas, so I have limited chance to talk to them. However, I know their parents monitor their social media use and have spoken to them about digital citizenship. Although if I felt one of them had posted something inappropriate, I would let their parents know.


  2. Azam says:

    This is good that you like to keep separate your personal and professional social media, furthermore, you are also conscious of what you share on your personal social media. It means when your employer or boss try to see your personal account, he will not disappoint.


    • Deborah Fuller says:

      Thanks for your comment, which I appreciated Azam. It is important to get the balance right on social media with injecting some personality into posts whilst not revealing things which may potentially damage future prospects


  3. Paola Beretta says:

    Hi Debbie,
    I’m also very aware of keeping a certain degree of privacy online and like yourself I use Facebook mostly for personal contacts. However, I find that sometimes the boundaries can be blurred. As you pointed out, balance is key. Thanks for sharing a great post!


    • Deborah Fuller says:

      Thanks Paola, for taking the time to read and comment on my reflection. I am naturally a very private person, so it is easy to extend this to my online personality. I think also that I was a little older and possibly more mature when social media became popular, meant that I was better able to handle my online presence. Not that I’m saying younger people can’t, but I don’t think I personally could have in my teens and twenties.


  4. Michele Smith says:

    Hi Debbie,
    I got on Twitter last year too, when I started in the course; but I find I often don’t check it for weeks or months at a time. I feel like it will be a slow development for me, possibly accelerated when I have to do information programs next semester!
    I do love that you tweeted your favourite band and they tweeted back, though! How awesome is that?
    Your online self-censorship (“Is this something I would tell my manager/future boss?”) is a good strategy to ensure you don’t post anything you might later regret.
    Thanks for sharing your reflection!


    • Deborah Fuller says:

      Thanks for your comments Michele. Information Programs will accelerate your Twitter presence, if it is run like last year. I was sceptical about the learning benefits of Twitter prior to this, but I’m now a convert, thanks to the enthusiasm of Kate Davis. It is also an easy way to learn, with short snippets of information that are easy to read. Good luck with Information Programs next year, if you’re anything like me you’ll love it.


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