Skip to Main Content

CS1022 Learning in a digital environment Guide: Managing your Online Identity for Careers

Your Online Presence

Employers are increasingly performing pre-employment background checks of social media. A Microsoft survey of employers in the US found that 79% of employers/recruiters used online information to evaluate job candidates. Taking control of your online presence means taking control of what others find when they search for you online. An online presence that consists of a 15 year old MySpace page, or a selection of your holiday snaps on Facebook, is not going to make a professional first impression. In contrast, a well crafted ePortfolio or online resume creates a positive and professional first impression.

If your social media (Facebook/Twitter/etc) account(s) is your only online identity you might need to rethink how you present yourself online and how you can separate your personal and professional digital selves.

The first step in taking charge of your online presence is finding out what others can find out about you. So try searching for yourself online and see what you can find. Can you find yourself? If not, what additional information do you need to add before you can find yourself (e.g.. location, schooling, etc).

Remember: this is what an employer will see when they Google you.

  • How visible are you?
  • What kind of an impression does the content you find create?
  • Are your social media accounts locked down or visible to all?

Review the privacy features on the websites you use, find out what information is visible to the general public, and evaluate whether this information creates a good impression for potential employers.

Here are some more tips on taking control of your online presence:

  • Use pseudonyms when socialising online
  • Use privacy settings to control what others can find out about you
  • Create an ePortfolio/online resume, or a professional blog/website 

These article contains further information on how to clean-up your online identity.

Facebook & Employers

The Future of Work


ePortfolios are basically online portfolios and they are one means of creating a professional online presence. ePortfolios are similar to traditional portfolios, in that, they are collections of your work that show off your capabilities and talents. The primary difference between ePortfolios and traditional (or offline digital) portfolios is that they're online and generally available for potential employers to see. ePortfolios are useful if you have samples of your work that may be relevant to employers, like project exemplars, writing samples, presentations, and/or design samples. They are a means of telling your professional story online and they are also useful repositories, where you can keep content/writing/resume information.

Important: All JCU students are provided with a free access to the Pebblepad ePortfolio platform, while at university and after they graduate. You can find more information on using Pebblepad here (or by following the link below).

Note: You don't have to make all the content in your ePortfolio visible to the public/employers. Check out the privacy settings on the ePortfolio platform you are using and take control of who sees what.   

The main advantage of using an ePortfolio, as opposed to a traditional or offline portfolio, is the range of content that you can include. The JCU ePortfolio platform can be used to host written content, videos, files, and images. The pebblepad platform can also be used to record achievements, as a repository for reference letter, or to host copies of your CV. In some classes Pebblepad is also used as a means of delivering course materials. For example, the 21st Century Workplace eBook that you will be completing as part of your final assessment is hosted on Pebblepad.

View these links below for further information on using Pebblepad and creating ePortolios.

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.