April 1, 2011

Preparing your Facebook Profile for your Job Search

Did you know that your Facebook profile could actually be hurting your chances to find a job? Since so many people use this social networking site, some employers are using what they find there to make an ultimate decision about which candidate to hire. Don’t squash your chances at the job of your dreams because your Facebook profile isn’t up to par. Here are things you should do today to make sure your Facebook profile is ready for any employer who finds it:

  • Check your privacy settings.

Do you want employers to be able to view your profile? By default, anyone can see the information you post, but you can change the settings so that just certain things are viewable by the public. Otherwise, people have to be your friends to see what you post. You can even change the settings so that no one can search for you, which could be good for your job search, but also limiting in terms of connecting with friends. Just be aware of your privacy settings so you can make the best choices about what you post.

  • Make sure your information is updated.

Facebook allows you to post work and school information. Make sure it is up-to-date, reflecting the same information you sent on your resume. While most employers realize that some people don’t update their Facebook information regularly, if your information is wildly different, it might be a red flag, making employers suspect that you’ve lied on your resume.

  • Skip the college humor.

While posting drunk quotes from your friends, party pictures, or jokes might be fun while you’re in college, it gives employers the wrong impression. Employers realize that a Facebook profile isn’t all business all the time, but they don’t want to hire someone who posts pictures passed out in public from too many martinis during happy hour and they certainly don’t want to hire anyone who references drug use, even if it is in jest.

  • Reflect your interests carefully.

If your cover letter to find a vet job asserted that have a passion for working with animals, but your Facebook profile doesn’t make mention of this, it might not hurt you, but it certainly won’t help your cause! Look at the interests you have listed and make sure they reflect that jobs to which you are applying. Little touches like this can really push you over the edge if an employer is on the fence about hiring you.

  • Connect with the right people.

While you do want to stay in touch with all of the people you’ve met throughout your life, be aware that some of them may not be searching for jobs and, thus, may be in a different state of mind when they post pictures of you, comment on  your profile, etc. Monitor your profile carefully so that you untag pictures that might hurt your job search, delete comments that could show you in a bad light, and otherwise keep tight control over what information is posted on your profile.

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