Like it or not, more and more companies are taking a look at our social media presences when considering job applicants. Give ’em something they can’t refuse.
A resume isn’t enough anymore. About a third of employers admitted to Facebooking applicants and most entry-level jobs require some social media knowledge (who else is going to show everyone #howtodoeverything?).
A professional Facebook Timeline is like the pop-up book of resumes. Instead of wasting precious space explaining a year-long gap in a cover letter, show photos of what you do outside of looking for a job: mastering the grill, mountain biking, covers of books you’ve read—anything that would give a candidate a picture of who you are as a person, which speaks worlds more than a few bullet points on white paper.
Even if you think Facebook is a huge waste of time, there are plenty of industries actively looking for at least some background in social media communications. Owning your social media presence means you control what people see, and that’s never a bad thing.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- A professional headshot, or a good photo of you showing your face.
- A quality photo of interesting scenery, texture, painting or graphic design to use as your cover photo. Here are some cool examples: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-facebook-timeline-covers/
- About 20 minutes of start-up time and a few minutes a month to update it.
Here’s what I did:
Create Professional Page
First, I locked up all of my privacy settings so no one can search for my personal profile. Then I created a public page under “Artist, Band or Public Figure” and “business person.” You need at least 30 friends to “Like” your page to keep it, which I was able to get in a few hours with a quick status update.
Like most resumes, the more you fill it out, the more people will read it. Start off by posting resume information accompanied with photos you wouldn’t mind sharing with strangers. Think of it as show-and-tell. Show the significance of your college degree by including a pic of you in your cap and gown with your grandma. Include a few screen shots of your current work, and post a few of snapshots of awards you’ve won. [Tip: Check the “Hide from News Feed” option so you don’t annoy your new fans.
Show Off Your Personality
Sharing personal information is always a little dicey, but I always think of it this way: Share only what you’d tell a significant other’s parents on first meeting. Post photos of athletic achievements, cooking adventures or fun vacations. Don’t go overboard as to crowd your professional information, but keep it light and fun.
- While a phone photo works sometimes with Facebook, try to defer to quality photos, and pay attention to Timeline’s dimensions.
- Use your Timeline as a way to keep up with Facebook’s evolving layout. Pay attention to social media news, and try to take advantage of its latest features.
- Don’t over-post. A few times a month will suffice.
- Take some time to edit once in a while, and make sure all information is current.