Facebook has always been a great place to connect with friends and loved ones. Now, thanks to its job board feature, using Facebook when job searching is a reality and it could get you your next job.
Considering most recruiters use social media in the hiring process, your online persona could impact your work opportunities. Facebook has had its share of privacy concerns over the last few years; hence it’s smart to ensure that your social media persona is well-curated. Inappropriate posts, photos, and comments have cost people their jobs.
Brands and companies are cautious of their image, and they expect the same from their employees. The picture you project online will affect your prospects.
Below are the do’s and don’ts for using Facebook when job searching.
Do Create an Online Presence
Think of your Facebook profile as your first impression. And remember, first impressions are everything. Google your name and see what comes up. If you don’t like what you see, neither will a prospective employer. Be careful of your image – how you present yourself to the world determines how people see you and treat you.
When you’re looking for a job, use your online persona to showcase your skills and talent. Connect and engage with your network. Participate in discussions in groups and communities that interest you. Your connections could open doors and create opportunities to work your way up the career ladder.
Where possible, use your Facebook account to show your designs or articles and even professional awards you have won. You can also use it to show your volunteering activities, all of which portray your initiative and responsibility.
Don’t Forget to Check Your Privacy Settings
Facebook’s reputation when it comes to user privacy and security is not excellent. If you haven’t checked your privacy setting in a while, it would be wise to do so.
You don’t know who can see photos you’re tagged in or see your posts.
Facebook has a privacy tool that allows you to view your public profile. Take advantage of this to see what others see when they access your Facebook page.
Review what strangers and friends of friends can see, including photos you are tagged in. Better yet, make sure you approve any tagged posts before they appear on your timeline.
Do Spring Clean Your Facebook
Put your best foot forward. Make sure your Facebook represents your best self. Facebook has been around for decades. Do you still hold the same views as your 15-year-old self? If not, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to cleaning. Make sure your “About” section represents who you are and what you want to be known for.
Next, consider cleaning out your “friends.” Remember, quality over quantity is the best strategy when it comes to connecting. Who your friends are and what you post can give a stranger a glimpse into who you are and your fundamental beliefs. Make sure your feed shows you as you are.
Take action to delete any posts or pictures that compromise your job search or portray you negatively.
Don’t Post Something You Wouldn’t Want Your Employer to See
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you never really know what could be shared or captured in a screenshot. What would you want a recruiter to see? Your profile is an extension of you. What you post reflects on who you are as a person.
Think of your profile as your Facebook resume. Make sure it portrays you in the best possible light. Don’t post anything that could affect a recruiter’s first impression of you.
Build your Facebook profile to reflect your responsibility and professionalism. Even your social life posts help with this, so do not omit them. But ensure they add positively to your brand.
Your best strategy is to be professional at all times. Always remember that what you share can work for you or against you. You’re not guaranteed privacy; the world is too hyper-connected for that.
According to Jobvite’s 2017 Recruiter Nation Report, several actions on platforms like Facebook give a negative impression of a candidate. These acts include:
Sharing pictures and talking about marijuana use
Over 60 % of recruiters in the study agreed that posting about marijuana would affect your chances of getting the job.
According to more than half of the recruiters, political ranting is a flag, and often they will steer clear of such candidates. Do not make politics a mainstay of your Facebook posts.
Poor spelling and grammar use
You may hate online grammar police, but they are right. 48 % of recruiters in the study agree that poor grammar and spelling negatively inform their opinion about you.
Alcohol consumption and partying.
Frequent photos of you partying and having alcoholic drinks will damage your credibility about your work performance. It also casts questions on your responsibility.
Showing off your purchases and wealth
Apparently, recruiters and employers do not like a showoff. 20% of those who responded to the study say this is a turnoff.
Posting extreme beliefs
Close to political rants, extreme beliefs, whether in religion, gender, guns, and other debates, indicate a lack of tolerance. You may seem a bad fit at the workplace. Using curse words even for posts on sports also portrays you in a bad light. Strive to be diplomatic and avoid unnecessary debates.
In the same survey showing off too much skin, having a small social media presence, and posting too many selfies were red flags to recruiters.
Posting negatively about your former boss or job
Badmouthing your former boss or work may be tempting, but it is a bad look to recruiters. It is even worse if you are still working at the company while seeking new jobs.
Do Use Facebook’s Job Search Features
Locate jobs and start applying. You can search for jobs by industry, skills, and location. Facebook has an “Apply Now” feature that simplifies the entire process by pre-populating the application with any details you have made public.
Be sure to follow companies that interest you. Doing this ensures that you’ll never miss a job posting. Any new job posting created by companies you follow will show up in your news feed.
Start your networking early, following people in the relevant fields and groups related to your profession. Beyond following, be proactive in your communication, commenting, liking, and sharing the different posts to become visible. Through these channels and people, you will learn of new opportunities.
The Bottom Line
Your Facebook page is no longer a place you can create a different persona nor use it to post anything you feel like. It has become a part of your professional life and your brand. Even with extreme privacy settings, you still want to curate it to reflect a positive impression of you to potential employers. Besides, when using Facebook for job searching purposes, you want to be easily found by these companies, so you will not have the luxury of limiting your visibility.
When actively seeking a job, remember always to put your best foot forward. It is a good idea to get some career service support, to help you curate your image. The job search coaching team at Distinctive Career Services can help.
Finally, be authentic. Your social media is your personal brand. Let your online persona propel your offline self and connections. Facebook is an excellent tool for starting real-world relationships. So, get to posting!