Facebook is growing increasingly popular in the professional world. It’s a great tool for both job seekers and employers. If you choose to keep your profile on Facebook public, this gives employers and HR permission to have an inside look at your private life. Wall comments, photos, and applications are there for anyone to see. Inappropriate postings have cost some individuals their jobs and others probably have lost the chance to interview.
Below are a few guidelines to help you along the way:
If you choose to keep your profile public then it’s imperative to pay close attention to anything you post or has been posted to your profile. There is a good chance that Employers will search Facebook to view potential candidates’ profiles.
Inside jokes that are posted on walls or underneath pictures may be funny and innocent to you; however, it can give the wrong impression someone not in your inner circle. If you do not want a future boss to view how your free time is spent then un-tag pictures, delete pictures and/or postings, or change your privacy settings all together.
Your Profile Picture:
First impressions are everything, so a profile picture should be chosen very carefully. A Facebook profile picture should show off your individual personality, but not risk showing any undesirable characteristics.
Photo Albums + Inappropriate Pictures:
Profile pictures are not the only concern, but also the albums posted and the pictures you are tagged in.
Taking pictures with your pals at the bar is fun. Getting tagged in all of your friends’ pictures the next day is fun, too. But if you’re on a serious job search, you should thoughtfully consider what pictures you’re tagged in. It would probably be best if you don’t have any photos of you drinking, holding a drink or sporting a beer funnel.
A Note on Social Media jobs:
If you’re looking for a job in social media or marketing, you probably want to have your profile somewhat accessible to your future employer. Most employers in this sphere will find a way to look at your profile anyway, so you might as well make it easy for them and not risk any suspicions about why you have your profile locked.
Your Privacy Settings:
With the magic of Facebook privacy settings everyone has the ability to control exactly what is and isn’t seen to friends, friends of friends, networks, and strangers. While searching for a job it is probably best to make your profile only accessible to friends (unless you’re looking for a job in social media). You also may want to make sure you change privacy settings so you do not pop up in any Friend Search. There is also the option to have your profile picture appear as a question mark to anyone outside your friend’s circle. This is just a suggestion that errs on the side of caution.
Facebook and job hunting isn’t all negative though, it can be an additional resource in your job hunt. There is a section under Marketplace that is geared toward the job seeker. Much like Monster or CareerBuilder, there is the option to search available jobs within a certain radius and criteria. It’s also possible to set up a notification to alert you when jobs become available that match your search.
If your preference is to use social media then I would recommend utilizing LinkedIn. This site is geared specifically towards the job seeker and employer and is a great networking tool for both. Using Facebook could be beneficial, but it is important that if you choose to use it as a job search tool that is remains professional.
Happy Hunting and Socializing!