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Job Interview


The statistics are boggling:

  • 1 out of 3 employers rejected candidates based on something they found out about them online

  • 86% of employers say candidates should make their profiles more “employer-friendly”

  • 50% of companies use Facebook to find talent

  • 18.4 million people stated that Facebook “got them their current job”

Today, job seekers need to treat Facebook as an extension of their resume. The two are not autonomous units anymore; they depend on one another to help give perspective to the other. Managers use resumes compile and note skills and accomplishments, but 24% of managers also use social media profiles to help make “fit and personality” matches.

Eye tracking studies have shown that, on average, people spend just 5.7 seconds looking at your profile, and that they look at your profile picture and your job title the most. These are the areas to focus on as you make your Facebook profile as extension of your resume. Let’s look at four areas in particular:

Pay close attention to privacy settings. While job searching, it’s important to clean up your Facebook account (if it’s public) or change privacy settings to keep personal information, well, personal. To do this, simply log onto Facebook and go to the drop-down menu in the right-hand corner called “Account,” and click on “Privacy Settings.” From there, you can determine who sees your posts – everyone, friends of friends, friends only – or you can create a custom set of privacy settings.

Privacy Setting and Photos – Privacy settings for photo albums are contained within each Facebook album, so doublecheck any/all of them as well. Wall photos and mobile uploads initially retain the same privacy settings that were established for your entire account (via “Privacy Settings”), but you can modify each picture on an ad hoc basis. Cover photos and Profile photos default to a “public” setting, so it is extremely important that you post appropriate pictures – not a photo of you doing the limbo at a backyard pool party while holding a large cocktail in one hand. However, think before you automatically turn these last two photo types “private”. Remember, recruiters are using social media to search for “fit and personality”, and personality is the one attribute that can be easily highlighted via a controllable image. So put some thought into the picture you present to the world.

Update your “info” tab with your work history and education, along with your basic information. However, think through how much information you want to make public – living arrangements, relationship status, age. A good rule of thumb is that if the question is not allowed during the interview, the information should not be made public via Facebook.

“Like” your targeted companies, staffing firms, or Facebook pages related to your field of interests. Keep up with recent news and job openings “liking” companies’ Facebook pages. However, do not stop with simply “liking” the page; engage with these companies and firms by commenting on interesting posts. This will increase your visibility with the company, since there is a real person answering these posts. Companies have a vested interest in conversing with you, since engagement helps with their Facebook “post engagement rate”. In addition, when you “like” Facebook groups, these are displayed on your profile, so potential employers, recruiters and staffing firms get to know you – which is why they are looking at your Facebook profile in the first place.

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