How to Create A Professional Online Presence

Portrait of Olivia A. Gallucci 2

This article is for the Silver Congressional Award.

Why create a “professional” online presence?

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “professional” is used to describe something that “relates to a profession,” yet the word conjures up so much more than its short definition. When I think of something professional, I think of tall buildings and business suits. I think of financial management teams and lawyers; most of all, I think of stock images. If I could use three words to describe these stock images, they would be “clean,” “serious,” and “invested.”

Although my blog is about education, I want my blog to be professional. In other words, I aim for my blog to be clean in design, and serious in nature. The topics of my blog—education and career development—is what I am invested in. As a result, I would describe my blog as professional because I try to encompass my interests and talents in a professional manner.

So this website is just a “professional” blog?

Yes. The internet is an amazing place where people share there interests and values, but the internet is also permanent. I see regular-Joes on twitter being “cancelled,” and destroying their careers because of uneducated and uncompassionate statements. I do not want to be cancelled because of ignorant statements, so I decided to write only about myself, my actions, and my own personal development. In other words, I will only write about what I have experienced or learned. I will explain how sourced mediums effect my beliefs on topics.

LinkedIn

I used the following articles to help create my LinkedIn profile.

Developing my website

I started with a minimalistic WordPress template. I made an ‘about me’ page and a ‘resume’ page. Then, I created a basic backbone and build up from there.

Originally, I titled my site “Olivia A. Gallucci’s Personal Site,” but that was too long, so I went with “Olivia A. Gallucci.”

After that, I decorated my site with “glittered” images. I made most of my glitter images using the ‘magic select tool’ on ibisPaint. It was not a challenging task, but it was very time consuming. (Note: All I did was put pictures of glitter over art that someone else made. I did not design anything.)

I made a ton of glitter images and icons. One of my favorites was a portrait of Richard M. Stallman, the creator of Free and Open Source Software.

Here are some of the glitter icons and images on this site:

Unfortunately, most of the glitter images I made did not make it on to this site. I made around forty images total, but a lot of them did not look good on my site.

I also tried to create a website logo and site header. Unfortunately, the logos I made appeared grainy on my site. In addition, I could not change the size of my logo or site header in HTML because that feature is not allowed on (monetarily) free WordPress accounts. In other words, I would have to pay to get that feature. Since I do not need a logo or site header, I decided to stick with my free WordPress account. If I become very passionate about blogging, I may purchase a WordPress subscription. At the moment, however, I am just starting out, so I am fine with a (monetarily) free account.

After that, I began to decorate my website with photos and fun pages. I created a photoblog, a reading blog, and a blog. These pages give my website a personal touch.

After these pages were developed, I created organizational pages, and rearranged my site menus so that my website would be easier to navigate. Lastly, I decorated the organizational pages using stock images from Pexels.com, which supplies photos with FOSS-like licenses.

At this point my website was complete. I would repeatedly check back to look for spelling and grammar errors.

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Portrait of Olivia Gallucci in garden, used in LNP article.

Written by Olivia Gallucci

Olivia is an honors student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She writes about security, open source software, and professional development.