If you are spending time on Facebook anyway, why not use some of that time to build a professional identity and access the hidden job market at the same time.
The key to remaining connected with friends and family as well as professional networks on Facebook without compromising your job search is to classify your ‘friends’. This will require a little time, effort and patience but can provide promising leads. If you aren’t currently searching for a new job, it is still a good strategy to build your network before you need it.
Employers troll for candidates online to either find someone with the skills they are looking for or to screen candidates. You’ll want to make sure they only see what you want them to see. You can become ‘friends’ with someone who works at a company you are interested in but you don’t have to let them see your weekend shenanigans.
How you appear online is an important consideration when looking for work. Learning how to use privacy settings in Social Media is vital in order to control who can see what you are sharing. Facebook has tools that make it easier to control who you share your content with. You can even see how your profile appears to others. Facebook created this detailed guide on how manage all your privacy settings.
Polish Up Your Profile and Clean your News Feed
First, polish up your profile for your job search audience and only include information that is relevant to prospective employers and professional colleagues. Your profile has sections for you to list professional skills, workplaces and schools you have attended. Facebook can then start showing you potential connections that may be influential in your job search and provide recommendations, tips and leads for you.
Secondly, you will want to lock down or delete any content you have posted that you would not want your professional contacts or prospective employers to see. It can be time consuming to go back and delete it all, but you do have other options. Start fresh or use the handy tool in Facebook that allows you to limit all your old posts.
REMEMBER: Your profile and cover picture are always public! You can only control which picture you use, not who can see them.
Create a LIST for Your Professional Contacts
Social recruiting and screening candidates is a growing online trend. If you want to jump on board to take advantage of this trend, expand your online professional network and include contacts that may be helpful in your job search. Facebook offers an option every time you post a status update, upload a picture or edit your profile to decide who can see it. You may be familiar with the ‘friends’ and ‘friends of friends’ category, however, you can create other lists as well. To assist in your job search, you may want to create a ‘work’ or ‘professional’ list. When you add a new professional contact, add them to this list. Facebook provides detailed instructions on how to add friends to a list.
Restricting your Content
Once you have a new list, you have better control of who sees your posts. When posting, select the sharing options dropdown, ‘more options’ and then ‘custom’. Your new list will be shown as an option, add the list to either the ‘share this’ or ‘don’t share this’ box.
To make sure it’s all working the way you want, use the “Who can see my stuff” feature and view your profile as if you were one of these new professional contacts.
To learn more about using Social Media in your Job Search, come to our “Using Social Media for Your Job Search” workshop.