Facebook probably needs no introduction. After all, 85% of internet users have a Facebook account – that’s more than 1 billion users worldwide. Even those who choose not to have an account have heard of the world’s most popular social media site, which was originally created in 2004 for college students. In 2006, the site was opened to anyone over 13 with a valid email address, and the rest is history.
But is anyone using Facebook in their job search? The answer should be yes! Recruiters use Facebook accounts to learn more about potential candidates, so you should be positioning yourself accordingly. Here are a few key tips to present yourself in the best light possible to anyone who is evaluating you for a potential position.
Keep Parts of Your Profile Public
Over the years, Facebook has implemented increasingly strong privacy filters and options when it comes to sharing content with other users. Most of your profile should only be visible to your direct connections – your Facebook “friends” (be they family, friends, or acquaintances). This includes most of your photos, relationship status, “About Me” information, and most wall posts (there are some exceptions).
There are some parts of the profile that are helpful to have available to anyone searching the site. Your main photo (which should be professional looking), your educational information, and your work information are all good things to make public.
Sometimes, sharing professional information on Facebook makes sense. Wall posts that announce your accomplishments, publications, and company news should be made public. Anyone who lands on your Facebook profile will see your professional activities and get an idea of who you are and what you do.
Follow the Companies You Want to Connect With
If you’ve identified specific companies you’d like to work for, “Like” their Facebook pages so that you can get updates on their activities. Many companies post job openings on their Facebook pages, so you’ll receive the heads-up when those positions are posted.
Beyond that, when you have interviews lined up, you should “Like” those companies too. Any information you receive could be potential talking points in an interview. Small businesses may even look to see if you are a fan, trying to see how excited you are about the job.
Spread the Word
If your job search is public, you can post publicly every so often to let your friends know that you are looking. (This only applies if you’re currently unemployed, an intern, or if you’re absolutely sure none of your connections will spill the beans to your boss. If you’re not sure, send a private message through Facebook Messenger only to the people you know you can trust.) Referrals are one of the best ways to find your next position, and your friends will be happy to help. According to one report, 16% of all job seekers receive a job referral from a Facebook friend. Your next career move could be thanks to a little help from your friends.