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This content is taken from the University of Leeds & Institute of Coding's online course, Create a Professional Online Presence. Join the course to learn more.

Introduce yourself

For the next two weeks, you’ll be studying alongside many learners from around the world.

The Comments sections and Discussion steps throughout the course can be used to ask your fellow learners questions and share problems you are stuck on. Developing a collaborative learning environment will lead to a successful and enjoyable course. Find out more about learning online with FutureLearn by visiting the Downloads section.

You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook where you can find the latest news and updates about all our online courses.

Sanne Vliegenthart

Photo of course presenter Sanne recording herself using a camera phone

During the videos on this course, you’ll hear from Sanne Vliegenthart who will guide you through the course. Sanne is a freelance social media producer, public speaker and YouTuber/blogger. Sanne will be sharing tips and insights to what works and why.

Meg Pickard

Meg Pickard is an independent media consultant, and your Lead Educator on this course. Meg was also the former Head of Digital Engagement for Guardian News & Media, so brings many years of experience developing and supporting social web strategy and interactive experiences. Meg will share her experience to help guide you through the exercises and provide solutions to help you learn.

Over to you

Before you start your exploration of your online presence, why not take some time to introduce yourself to one another?

If you’d like, use the Comments section to tell us more about yourself, where you are from, and why you have chosen to join this course. You can also like comments, and choose to follow other learners.

Your online presence

How do you appear to others online? When people search for your name, what kind of information comes up?

What could a friend, stranger, long-lost school friend – or potential employer – find out about you just from your online content and activity? Is that what you want them to know?

The internet provides more ways than ever for people to promote themselves online and be found by others. It’s a great way to connect with friends, like-minded people and professionals. However, getting the balance of information and exposure right can be tricky and social media platforms don’t always make it easy to control what you’re sharing and with whom.

It’s likely that you’ve heard stories about someone getting fired for posting something embarrassing on a social media profile. Others may not have got a job because the unfiltered tagged content on their social network profile didn’t match the shiny CV they presented at interview. Don’t worry you’ll find out how to avoid these kinds of situations. We’ll also share some best practice advice about how to stand out from the crowd – for the right reasons.

In this course, you’re going to be looking at the big issues around creating a professional online presence and exploring how you can:

  • assess your current online footprint
  • look at the differences between professional and personal, public and private
  • understand what employers might be looking for online
  • take steps to improve your presence if needed
  • and build and participate in a professional network.

Share your experiences:

Take this opportunity to think about your answers to the following questions:

  • Have you come across any examples of someone’s social media presence causing a problem when getting or employed in a job? Or has this happened to you? What happened?
  • What can we learn from these experiences?

Share and discuss your responses with other learners in the Comments section.

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This article is from the free online course:

Create a Professional Online Presence

University of Leeds