The revelation that companies are asking potential employees for Facebook passwords got me thinking about how Facebook has rapidly evolved as both diary and biography. Given the addition of Timeline to Facebook’s configuration, people on the hunt would do well to make Facebook work for them instead of the converse. While there are other solid platforms like LinkedIn that are a source of rich C.V.-type information, Facebook is fast becoming a treasure trove of great data about the 850 million people who use it.
Under the new paradigm of work in the Twenty-first Century, employers want to know what you have accomplished in your career and how you may likely perform for them. So, if you are one of those 850 million Facebookers and are in the market for a job or a new place to ply your skills, consider the following ideas to make Facebook work for you as you look for work.
Use your resume as the basis for the “Work and Education” section of the “About” tab. This of course assumes you have written a compelling resume that highlights your best skills and accomplishments. Insure that the content of the “Work and Education” section is consistent with your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Consistency is important.
Fill out your Timeline with vital information that paints a rich and robust picture of your professional life from the time you entered planet earth or were first employed, adding the stepping stones of your academic record and career evolution.
As an option, also consider adding life events that convey interesting and relevant information that give evidence of your character, capabilities, and worldliness. For example, if you spent summers during your college years touring the beer capitals of world, consider elaborating with both content and photos showing your itinerary, stops along the way, and commentary about what you have learned and experienced. Even if you simply worked at a summer computer camp teaching the fundamentals of using a PC, illustrate that fact with comments and visuals of the experience.
Thoughtfully consider adding photographs or other illustrations that show the evolution of your career and academic trail, posting them in your timeline together with content about what you did, what you achieved, and what you learned that may be relevant to your career path or career objectives.
Employ your feed or “Status Updates” in a way that communicates your professional and personal interests such as your fascination with Apple products, accounting methods, neuroscience topics, grape varietals, antique German cars, or family travels. Pick subjects and visuals that help tell the story of you, that paint a visual of your nature, personality, disposition, and spirit. These are all intangibles that you cannot get from a resume but may be important to a hiring manager. And again, pick only those subjects and topics that are critical in communicating your “brand” and “character.”
Strive for cohesion and consistency in your content. Unless you have a burning desire to position yourself as an eclectic individual, keep all of your postings, visuals, activity logs, comments, updates, check ins, “About” facts, and Apps consistent with who you are and make certain that they are coherent across your Timeline and throughout your feed.
Post subject matter that buttresses your capabilities and character. Make liberal use of links and content that support your personal brand and professional value. For example, if you have given a speech to the Rotary Club about the state of ecommerce in local communities, post your presentation on Slideshare, the video on YouTube, and add the respective link in your Facebook feed. If there is coverage in your local newspaper, post the web link in your feed. Take every opportunity to construct a smart and compelling trail of your talents and triumphs.
Avoid info that distracts or destructs. As you take time to construct content about you that positions and portrays the person you are or want to be known for, pay heed to anything that could take away positive impressions or negatively impact your reputation. For example, avoid snarky commentary, resist the urge to make an untoward joke, and for the love of Mike, dispense with photos of the Saturday night drinking binge or the skinny-dipping romp in the Bay of Biscayne.
Gerry Corbett is the PRJobCoach at prjobcoach.com and CEO of Redphlag LLC, a strategy consultancy. He has served four decades in senior communications roles at Fortune 100 firms and earlier in his career in aerospace and computer engineering with NASA. He has a B.A. in public relations from San Jose State University and is a member of the International Advertising Association, National Investor Relations Institute; Arthur Page Society, National Association of Science Writers, and International Coaching Federation.
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