“Authenticity is critical online.”

“Your network is bigger than you think”. A study conducted by Stanley Milgram and Duncan Watts introduces a concept of three degrees of separation (or influence) – individuals connected to you via no more than three intermediaries may provide a professional opportunity resulting from the presence of trust (Catarina, 2014).


(Catarina, 2014)

Assuming you have 50 friends, they have 30 friends and these 30 friends have 10 friends each. This boils down to 15,000 potential professional connections if you are able to market yourself well! That being the case, think about people whom you have worked with in real life. Connecting with them on professional networking accounts such as LinkedIn increases the chance of expanding network as you may discover new communities through these people whom you have worked with (or vice versa). Hereby, authentic online professional profile may be derived from the amalgamation of your present offline relationships and online.

(LinkedIn, 2015)

As James O’ Reilly mentioned, “Authenticity is critical online.” Tell the story of yours across different social media platforms. On LinkedIn, relevant information detailing your qualifications, goals and experiences should be included as a part of your compelling brand. Snippets of past projects in multimedia form may enhance your online profile with persuasiveness and at the same time, recommendations from past superiors or colleagues will also create new buy-ins.

Do not simply just set up an LinkedIn profile and wait for people to discover. Simply put it is more than a career opportunity; but also a platform in creating and sharing ideas with individuals of common interests and goals. Therefore, individuals can participate actively in discussion groups and upload industry-related content that keep others in loop (e.g. Social Media Marketing)


(Hary, 2014)

While professional networking accounts are used in spotting talents, social media accounts of an individual are increasingly reviewed by HR personnel before making a hiring decision (Jobvite, 2015). Hence, we see the need in ensuring that the content does not display the ugly side of our social life, but rather the skills and potential contributions we may bring to the company. Displaying commitment in our hobbies may tell an individual’s passion and probably the values he holds. For instance, an individual posting his recipes creations on his blog regularly may indicate his discipline and creativity in a light-hearted manner that differentiates him from the others (TheEmployable, 2014). And these values could possibly reflect future positive work performance. Thus, social accounts play a part in shaping professional online profile. And an individual may even link his LinkedIn account to his social media accounts, while adjusting privacy settings accordingly – keeping private life to his social circle.

The influence of one’s online professional profile is not only measured by its content but also the constant effort in connecting with others. Also, we see the importance of the validity of every information being upload – Former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson was forced to resign because of his fake qualifications on LinkedIn.


Catarina, A. (2014). 3 degrees of influence. [image] Available at: http://www.science20.com/catarina_amorim/we_might_have_no_free_will_but_at_least_we_are_influencing_half_of_the_world-130626 [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Hary, V. (2014). The Role of Social media in Professional Development: A Job-seeker’s Perspective. [image] Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140918074208-255445305-the-role-of-social-media-in-professional-development-a-job-seeker-s-perspective [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

Jobvite, (2015). 2014 Social Recruiting Survey. [online] Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

LinkedIn, (2015). LinkedIn Power Profiles 2015 – James O’Reilly, Verse Wealth, AustraliaAvailable at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9QQTgI8230 [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].

TheEmployable, (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. [online] Available at: http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/10/28/blogging-can-help-get-job/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].


8 thoughts on ““Authenticity is critical online.””

  1. Hello Yi Shin,

    I love the point you made on displaying commitments in our hobbies, as it will say a lot about our values and passion. Personally, I feel that many do not easily embody these characteristics and it is a criterion that future employers will find attractive!

    It is common for people to start deleting inappropriate pictures of themselves from their profile when they realize how detrimental it is to their work profile. Considering how name tagging is increasingly popular and easy to use, photos that are taken by or with their friends, at lets say, a party, may be posted online and with the ease of name tagging, the photo will immediately be uploaded to their profile page. Not only should we be careful with what we do online, but also, in the outside world where eyes are everywhere. What I’m trying to say is that, in order to be authentic online, we should be careful with our actions both online and offline so that we have nothing to hide. What do you think? ☺


  2. Hi there Yishin! 🙂

    I absolutely agree with you on the point that the influence of one’s profile is also factored by the constant effort to connect with others! If potential employers are able to see the persistent efforts made by the individual to expand their network with people because they want to actively share and receive knowledge about the relevant industry, I’m sure it would be a major plus point!

    The video you embedded with James O’Reilly taught me a lot about how a Linkedin profile could help a business with networking and meeting like-minded people that may potentially work with the business to help it grow in the future. Seems like knowing the type of story to tell and being transparent with the challenges and wins the business faces will help the audience understand what the business is truly about and showcases it’s authenticity! I’ve learnt that knowing what to share on Linkedin is crucial!

    (Word count: 153)

    Thank you for the insights! 🙂



  3. Hi Yi Shin!

    I really like that part where you talk about networking. I mean I have thought about how we should network ourselves and make connections as and whenever we can but “assuming you have 50 friends, they have 30 friends and these 30 friends have 10 friends each,” really gave me an true insight to how small the world can be and that these friends of friends might even have mutual friends! And how these connections and network may be the stepping stone to new communities and career opportunities as well!

    You do mention that it is important that our social media content does not display the ugly side of our social life. What do you think about having separate accounts for our professional life and personal life? I believe this could save a lot of unnecessary trouble and negative impressions!

    Cheers! 🙂


  4. Hi Yishin!

    Your blog post was an intriguing read as you introduced the concept of three degrees of separation, which i found to be very relatable and enlightening. This concept has provided me with two perspectives; 1. It’s good to know our career opportunities are not entirely dependent on our online profiles and network. 2. With the presence and advancements of the digital world, it can indeed expand our opportunities like never before.

    I like how you’ve concluded that an authentic professional profile is derived from the combination and balance of both our online relationships and identities as well as our irreplaceable real life experiences. As we focus on digital world and identities, it seems that people are easily absorbed into the idea that how others perceive them online are of utmost importance and spend so much effort meticulously structuring the best image of themselves online. However they forget that it’s who they are in real life that create their online identity.

    As the digital age progresses on, do you think that employers would drop the idea of real life human interaction when selecting new hires, and rely heavily on online profiles and network instead?

    CHEERS 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s