Facebook is known by many as a casual tool for fun and chatting with friends; however, it has actually morphed into a networking tool that is very important to maintain in order to get a job in the professional world. While social media sites like LinkedIn are specifically geared toward attracting employers, Facebook is often neglected as only a ‘fun’ site. Now it is more important than ever to give your Facebook a professional, or at least presentable, image that will serve as a form of online resume. Below are some tips to keep Facebook professional and useful.
Social Media Resume. Think of your Facebook page as a form of resume that can be accessed by any employer at any time. Several employers are rumored to have software that allows them to circumvent privacy settings in order to screen future employees. This being said, be sure to fill out the information section of your profile like you would a resume. Highlight accomplishments, responsibilities, aspirations, and other important personal information that will paint you as a professional employee. For example, rather than listing ‘watching TV’ in he interests section, highlight one of your more unique talents or hobbies.
Photos. When I was first hired for a university job, I was instructed to go through all of my 1,000+ pictures and delete any that included alcohol use of any kind or other suggestive material. While this was easy to complete, some people have hundreds of pictures of themselves doing less than professional things. While it is each person’s choice as to what to show on Facebook, employers will much prefer pictures of you volunteering, rather than partying. The most important picture is the ‘Profile Picture,’ which serves as an introduction to your Facebook and you as a person. Remember, first impressions are very important, so choose wisely.
Status Updates. While it may be enjoyable to update ‘friends’ with your daily eating habits, when making a status, try to craft one that is both meaningful and intelligent. Posting about the daily news or some sort of personal success is a lot more favorable than daily errands or habits. Employers can see that you are in tune with society and look deeper at current topics. Also, be sure to check spelling and grammar. Too often is this neglected in Facebook updates, but it serves as another indicator to your qualification for employment.
Privacy Settings. It is very important to put the highest privacy setting possible on your Facebook even if it is professional. Not all companies can circumvent the security software; therefore, it is altogether better to simply secure the entire profile to protect against unwanted attention and unwanted friends. Limited access to photo albums can help to protect personal security, as you have to approve each person who can view them.