Topic 3: Preventing a cyberspace collision – maintaining an authentic and professional online profile


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                                                      (Ollier-Malaterre et al., 2013, p.645)

Last week’s topic, there was a clear understanding that digital identity is important, because it’s a two-way process; how we are perceived by others (Costa and Torres, 2011) and how we interpret others.

Similarly, maintaining an


[Confident/Self-Aware/Transparent/Consistency] (Abbajay, 2012)



[characteristics of a learned individual] online profile involves this two-way process (Dictionary, 2014).

Our social and professional networks co-inside, but by creating the right impression [1. Being careful on Facebook 2. Think before you Tweet 3. Control visibility /connections on LinkedIn] we can maintain authentic and professional accounts, on all platforms.

How can we use social media to harness our development of an AUTHENTIC and PROFESSIONAL online profile?

As undergraduate’s, employability is probably at the forefront of your mind.

BEWARE! Employers are one step ahead in the online recruitment world and they’re developing a picture of you right now:

Studying Education, my Employability module, highlighted the concept of Lifelong Learning [learning across a lifespan] (Skolvert, 2000).  This concept, reiterates the two-way process of  utilising social media by recognising:

1. Awareness of YOUR development

2.Awareness of ENVIRONMENT [social media] development

The PERSONAL engagement in the ENVIRONMENT [professional networks] can harness development,  IF, our activities are:

1. Based on: Honesty
2. Validated by: Commitment
3. Furthered by: Engagement

Therefore, both sides of our professional and social identities are essential: PotentialPark Survey (2011) recognised that authentic professional profiles are expected to happen in LinkedIn, BUT, Facebook is where it happens. Does social networks overtake professional networks in professional profile development?

My experience is mixed –  I’ve witnessed a ‘cyberspace collision’ by using my ‘social’ Gmail account (linked to Facebook) in my ‘professional’ LinkedIn profile. While these connections are genuine,in hindsight,  I  could’ve created a new email account OR used my semi-professional University account. By  using a social email account, in a professional context, it’s apparent that a professional profile can still be maintained by being conscientious in decisions.

What are the consequences of poor professional profiles?

As a [potential]  prospective teacher, it was shocking to read about a teacher being sacked as a result of social media, and the fiasco surrounding the old tweets from Youth Crime Commissioner, Paris Brown in 2013.

The internet is written in ink and doesn’t forget you.

Remember it’s a two-way process – remain cautious and conscientious, and engage appropriately in the social and professional worlds, as they do co-inside.

Think before you ACT – POST- SHARE- LIKE- TAG- TWEET . . . . . . . . .

What steps are you taking?

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1. My Blog – Topic 2 - 

2. Abbajay, M. 2012. ‘Get real and get ahead: Five steps to professional authenticity’. [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 05 November 2014)

3. Costa, C & Torres, R. 2011. ‘To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity in the networked society’. [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 04 November 2014)

4. Dictionary Reference. (2014) ‘Professional’. [Online] Available at:  (Accessed: 05 November 2014)

5. Daily Mail Reporter. 2011. ‘Teacher sacked for posting picture of herself holding glass of wine and mug of beer on Facebook’. [Online] Available at: http:// (Accessed: 07 November 2014)

6. DocstocTV. 2011. ‘Why It’s Important to Keep Your Social Media Professional’. [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 07 November 2014)

7. The Guardian. 2013. ‘Police question Paris Brown over Twitter comments’. [Online] Available at:  (Accessed: 07 November 2014)

8. Ollier-Malaterre, A., Rothbard, N. and Berg, J. (2013). ‘When Worlds Collide in Cyberspace: How Boundary Work in Online Social Networks Impacts Professional Relationships’. [Online] Available at:  (Accessed: 03 November 2014) p.645

9.  Page, M. (2014). ‘Could social media kill your career?’. [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 03 November 2014)

10. PotentialPark. (2011). ‘Talent Interaction: Does Facebook beat LinkedIn?’ [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 06 November 2014)

11. Skolvert. (2000). ‘Lifelong Learning and Lifewide Learning’. Stockholm: National Agency for Education.

12. TweetSmarter. (2014) ‘#SocialMedia use says what resume can’t to recruiters’ [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 06 November 2014)



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