The Job Hunt: Put Your Facebook Profile to Work
|BranchOut, app for Facebook job search and networking.|
Job hunting? Along with updating your résumé, you may want to polish your Facebook profile. More than half of employers use Facebook as part of the hiring process, so make sure your profile is an asset to your job search and not a liability.
"I certainly knew that employers would be searching for my profile and would recommend making all public-facing content appropriate for viewing by job seekers," Ian Greenleigh, a young man in Austin, Texas, who found his dream job through Facebook, told TechNewsDaily.
Some people opt for a private profile that prospective employers cannot access, but that can raise a red flag for employers ― what are you hiding?
A better approach is to make parts of your Facebook profile visible to the public, including education, job and contact information. It's an opportunity to show your credentials and your job-related interests and edit out items that could reduce your attractiveness as a job candidate and harm your prospects.
"Just in case you think you can get away with changing the dates, don't even bother ― it is very easy to check," Andy Headworth, founder of recruiting firm Sirona Consulting, wrote in the company blog. "Check your group memberships ― you may want to remove some of the more 'seemed fun at the time' groups you joined."
Keep it professional and don’t publish anything that you wouldn’t share during an interview, such as religious preferences, political affiliations and relationship status.
Make sure your profile picture is professional. That means a head-and-shoulders shot of you in a pose that doesn't make you look stupid, according to Headworth.
However, maintain a sense of who you are and what you enjoy.
"You can express your humor, fun times and 'mad moments,'" Headworth said. "Employers want fun employees."
But use good judgment. Ask yourself, "Would I want this brought up in an interview with my dream employer?"
Keep your friends and potential employers up-to-date on your progress. Stay positive. Don't post negative comments about your past, present or future employers or co-workers.
"Use your status updates to indirectly tell everyone that you are interviewing, but don't tell them who with,” Headworth said. "Your network will see these and they may well prompt referrals and recommendations."
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