Are You Getting in the Way of You?

These days there is so much pressure on your social media profiles. You need to be authentic but you cannot be too maverick or out of line.

So what is authenticity? How do you display that online? Below is a graphic I’ve created of how I believe authenticity looks using the minimalists blog post as brief guidance.

Screen Shot 2016-11-11 at 11.34.58.png

From this you can see that the way to be authentic is to be true to yourself. Don’t let people influence you. Be you and make a decision and then act on that decision. However this is harder online. This is because of the fact that once something is online it is there forever. Thus the graphic to being authentic online changes slightly, shown below.

Screen Shot 2016-11-11 at 11.41.53.png

The online world creates more pressures due to the long lasting nature of the content in which is put out into the online world. Therefore to be authentic you have to think in the real world but then think again as to whether it is ‘appropriate’. Therefore there’s many pressures on your social media profiles and this is displayed in the video I created below.

From the video,  it is clear that you need to be yourself but a more watered down controlled version of yourself. The person that you are is increasingly becoming a brand, a product. And you have to brand yourself in a way that makes yourself desirable (Bowes, 2013).

So how does one develop such a profile? How can you be ‘authentic’, but also keep yourself safe from potentially ‘over sharing’. There is a some good examples of professional online profiles on Beth’s blog. I also collated some information into building a successful online profile, shown below.

Screen Shot 2016-11-11 at 12.18.50.png

The key it seems to building a professional online profile is the way in which you conduct yourself and the ability to filter yourself. You don’t want to put off potential employers by displaying yourself as a maverick like personality. You want to show them that they can trust you, and their first port of call will be your online activities. You need to be you but you also need to display the best you, and not let something irrational and silly be a reflection of you and have a negative impact on yourself.

(377 words)


  • Milburn. J. F and Nicodemus. R (2016), Authentic People, a blog post, Available online at (last accessed 10th November 2016)
  • References used in the creation of the video, in order of appearance:
    • Jobvite (2014), Social Recruiting Survey, How employers are recruiting, Available online at (Last accessed 10th November 2016)
    • Eden. N. J (2013), It Can Do More than Protect Your Credit Score: Regulating Social Media Pre-Employment Screening with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Law Journal Library, Available online at (Last Accessed November 10th 2016)
    • Ronson. J (2015) How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life, A New York Times Article, Available online at (Last accessed 10th November 2106) 
    • Tapscott. D (2014), Five ways talent management must change, World Economic Forum, Available online at (Last Accessed November 10th 2016)  
  • Bowes. P (2013) Building your Professional Online Profile, BBC News, Available online at (Last Accessed November 10th 2016)
  • Kanter. B (2015),  Perfect Your Authentic Online Leadership Profile on Social, ‘Beth’s Blog’, Available Online at (last Accessed November 10th 2016)
  • Building Professional Online Profile Diagram:
    • Neil’s Recruitment (2014), Curating your Online Profile, Blog post, Available online at (Last Accessed November 10th 2016)- Neil’s Recruitment, 2014
    • Harris. L (2014), Using social media in your job search, Blog Post, Available online at (Last accessed November 10th 2016)
    • Southampton Careers Service (2012) Managing your Digital Footprint, Informative video presentation, Available online at (Last Accessed November 10th 2016)
    • Bowes. P (2013) Building your Professional Online Profile, BBC News, Available online at (Last Accessed November 10th 2016)






7 thoughts on “Are You Getting in the Way of You?

  1. Hi Joe,
    First of all, I really liked the multiple self-generated images used in the post. They were informative and helped me generate an idea of where the argument was heading. I think that the conclusion that filtering yourself online is a smart one, however, you mention ‘you want to show them that they can trust you’. When coupled with filtering, do you think that this is slightly deceptive and not showing who ‘you’ as an individual and a personality are? I agree that ‘silly’ images and such like should be removed, and therefore my question is, what level of filtering should an individual apply to their social media pages? Should it be then same regardless of the career path an individual hopes to taker? And therefore is there an optimum level of ‘filtering’ that an individual can achieve.
    Of course the easy answer is ‘yes’ with employment being the goal. However as the video you linked suggests, a more controlled version of yourself is required online.
    Look forwards to hearing your thoughts.


    1. Hi Alex,

      Thank you for your feedback!

      In terms of your questions you proposed they are very interesting and something I hadn’t really thought of in great detail. I think there is definitely a need for filtering online due to traceability there is online and the permanence that comes with that. In my opinion authenticity from the real world to online is completely different due to that traceability factor and it can’t be brushed under the carpet and ignored its always going to be there and someones always going to see it. So the filtering stage is so important as this is your barrier and the level of peoples barriers are different as people have different perceptions on what is deemed appropriate and what isn’t.

      To the question about different level of job, there is added pressure from a stand point of someone like Justine Sacco who is in a high end job with many people watching the filter is more important and they should now that and have more pressure from it. However, that filter shouldn’t be any smaller in my opinion because of job and the local postman should also concentrate and consider what he/she is saying online. Although the audience may not be as big or the ripples as strong, it is still that persons personal brand. They don’t know where their life is going and in the future they might regret that tweet when they thought no one was watching and therefore really they should filter themselves and consider themselves just as much as that in the spotlight person, like Justine Sacco.

      Hope that answers your questions, and thank you for your questions they really made me think!


      1. I like that my questions were thought provoking!
        First of all, I think your responses were very well articulated, and I agree with the majority of what you say. I think that someones online presence being represented as their ‘personal brand’ is a lovely way of bridging the gap between ‘Justine Sacco and a postman’. I think that the idea you develop of a ‘personal spotlight’ is an interesting one. It is useful personally to use this idea. Regardless of what job I hope to get or indeed end up getting, my ‘personal spotlight’ should reflect myself in the best way possible.
        Look forwards to reading your next post!


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