This article is the second in a four-part professional series on how to market yourself online.
While many people might think to turn to LinkedIn when they are looking for employment, some might overlook another avenue that can be just as productive for job seekers – Facebook. A 2012 survey by JobVite found that 92% of hiring managers planned to use social networks in researching job candidates. Of these same hiring managers, 66% planned to look up job candidates on Facebook.
Having a Facebook Profile
The most obvious thing is that if hiring managers and others are going to look for candidates on Facebook, it is important to have a Facebook profile so that you can be found. While it is vital to keep your personal life private online, it is still a good idea to make sure that you have a Facebook profile picture and basic information visible to the general public. This helps you to be able to control some of your own online identity and increases the chances that the person searching for you will not mistake you for someone else. This is especially important if you have a common name like the last name Jones or Smith. There have actually been cases where a simple Google search or Facebook search by an employer has unknowingly yielded the wrong person to the detriment of the real candidate. To see how the public views your Facebook profile:
– Go to your Facebook profile
– Click the “gear” icon underneath your cover picture
– Go to “View as” and a box will come up at the top of the page
Here you can either put in a friends name to see how they view you or you can click on the “public” link within in the text to see how the public views your information
Tips to Market Yourself on Facebook
If you follow the advice to show a limited Facebook profile to the public, it is a good idea to follow a couple of guidelines. To do this, edit your privacy settings under “privacy” in the upper right-hand corner of the page. The first thing to do is to change the “Control Privacy When You Post” section to “Friends”. Then below that to “how to connect”. Change the “Who can look you up using the email address or home number you provided?” to “Everyone”. Remember personal no longer means private in the online world.
Second of all, make sure that your profile is free of any incriminating pictures. No potential employer wants to see pictures from the last party that you went to. It is also important to use correct grammar and appropriate language on your profile page. Bad language, texting abbreviations, and all kinds of mis-spelled words will almost certainly turn an employer off.
Another best practice is to write a thorough description of yourself in the “About” section of your Facebook profile. Make sure to highlight your strengths, your business skills, and your education history. Take advantage of the areas available for personal information, work information, photos, and applications to tell the best short story about yourself. It may also be a good idea to use the “Public” visibility setting below your post on a few posts that convey job-friendly & professional information. This will make your profile have more professional-looking activity. Be careful though, because your next post will also default to the public visibility setting, so be sure to change it back to a more private group.
Facebook is a way to connect/reconnect with friends and acquaintances. Take advantage of your vast social network on Facebook and leverage these friends to help you find opportunities. Post to your Facebook account about your job search. If you are not actively seeking a job but would consider a job switch, send a private message to select friends.
Lastly, another good thing to do is to join professional groups and like businesses in support industries. For instance, if you are in the landscaping business it may be a good idea to follow the American Nursery and Landscape Association, other landscaping information sources, and some of the landscaping businesses that you may apply to.