The job search environment has been forever changed. The key to today’s job search is networking, and social networking is front and center. Careerbuilder.com says that 37 percent of employers check social media for clues about the prospects they’re considering. It’s become an extension of one’s resume in much the same way belonging to a fraternity or sorority opened doors for previous generations.
Although you may have become social media savvy, a makeover for your Facebook page may be in order to usher in the next stage of your career. The new timeline design provides a great opportunity to make the right first impression.
The expansive photo area on the new timeline design places great emphasis on the visual. This is your first impression for a prospective employer. Attractive, professional photos will speak volumes about who you are to someone you’ve never met. In the large header space show off your creativity by using pictures that display your hobbies or interested. Stay away from inappropriate gestures, flesh, activities or clusters of friends.
What shows up when people click “About” under that big eye-catching banner? This is a great place to sell yourself and show off your writing skills. Complete the college and high school sections to reflect a positive image of your education and highlight extra-curricular activities that don’t involve drinking and partying? You can also include things may no longer fit on your resume like honors you’ve received, sports you participate in and clubs in which you have played an active part.
Make sure you add links to the places you’ve worked to your profile – but only the places that will give you a good reference if contacted? Employers are looking for information that reveals your character rather than your high profile accomplishments, so even being a camp counselor in high school can be added to this list.
Including additional languages you speak is an advantage as the world becomes increasingly multi-linguistic. But, unless you’re seeking a job where religious or political views are a factor, it’s a toss of the dice as to whether those subjects work for or against you. Think it through before revealing this information.
“Favorite Quotations” is a pretty neat way to express who you are to a prospective employer. Companies are looking for people who are forward thinking, flexible, adaptable and resilient. Quotes that represent those qualities are excellent choices. The Internet offers what seems like an infinite number of places to find quotes by famous people. Find your favorite ones, include a couple quotes here and and post from them frequently. As for the “People You Admire” section choose wisely and with your own reputation in mind.
On the front end, what do your “Likes” say about you? Are the brands or organizations consistent with the image you feel an employer will embrace? Are they too militant, or depending on what kind of job you’re looking for, are they not militant enough?
When you “Share Your Interests” what do your choices in music, TV shows, athletes, or sports reveal? A lot can be gleaned from that information. So they’re all worthy of mindful review in light of your career goals and interests.
If you’re having trouble blending your true social space with one that is for professional purposes, consider starting a new Facebook page that you can direct prospective employers to – even include it on your resume. If you choose to have a dual online personality, keep in mind that your social page is no more than a Google search away from unintended eyes.
If you do start a separate page, don’t forget to make sure people “like” it. Nothing screams fake persona like a well-crafted Facebook page with no “friends.”
Remember, your remade or new professional Facebook page isn’t about entertaining yourself or keeping up with the latest trends, wacky videos and gossip. It’s about creating your personal brand. You’re marketing your benefits and value to someone who may be trying to weed out the candidates who aren’t savvy enough to know when they’re being watched.