Stemming from your encouragement, I entered this post in the Job Search Blogger Contest, hosted by Jessica Miller-Merrill (@blogging4jobs). Thanks to your overwhelming support and the relevance of the article, I WON!! Full results can be found here. I was a featured guest (6/12/10) on the Job Search Secrets Webshow. Thanks again for all your support – I truly couldn’t have done it without YOU!
Are you on Facebook? Originally launched in 2004, Facebook has made its way from a “Hot or Not” platform (see Wikipedia’s profile) to a social media giant today. Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
Millions of people (over 300 million) use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.
Your friends are here. Your family is here (I’m connected with everyone from high school classmates to cousins to grandma). And guess what? Employers are here now, too. Did that give you a sick feeling in your stomach? What if your boss knew what was posted on Facebook? Would it matter? These are all questions that I hear everyday. The one thing that I would like everyone to know is: NOTHING is private on the web. NOTHING. It doesn’t matter if your status is set to “private” or if you’ve locked out certain people. If a person is resourceful enough, they can find it.
So with that in mind, here are a few tips to help make Facebook your friend rather than your foe:
Keep it clean. We all have fun. Some of us have even documented that fun (legal or not) with pictures. You just don’t have to post it on Facebook. Keep the pictures if you need to reminisce about the good ‘ol days. But, would you want mom, grandma, church pastor, or your boss seeing your beer-bong contest pictures? Probably not.
Be authentic. Your personal brand is something that can really shine through in social media. Be consistent and authentic. Your true personality will come out after a little time. There’s no sense in hiding it. Use it to your advantage.
Connect and reconnect. Facebook is a great place to learn more about the people you know or even people you want to know. While LinkedIn is still utilized for more professional use, Facebook provides a personal side to the equation. There are recruiters on Facebook – I would caution you to keep interactions professional, even on a platform such as this. They could care less about your Farmville, Mafia Wars, or Sorority Life gaming online.
Like it. What was recently known as “become a fan” has changed to provide a more open forum of interaction. You can now “like” something on Facebook. This goes for all sorts of things from a certain company (great way to learn about culture, even jobs) to trivial things such as Mexican food or sandwiches. As Joey Tribbiani said on Friends, “who doesn’t like sandwiches?” 🙂
Integrate with other platforms. If you’re a Twitter user (see earlier post: Tackling Twitter), you can now update your status there at the same time as your Facebook status. If you’re a jobseeker, use this opportunity to update regularly with things that you’re working on, types of jobs you’re seeking, and snippets of the experience you bring to the table. You never know who will be looking!
Facebook can be a great platform for personal branding, reconnecting with friends and family and prove to be a positive resource for jobseekers. Just remember to be yourself, keep it clean, and have a little fun. Make Facebook work for you, not against you.
As always, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing your insight with me. You can subscribe to Campus to Career by clicking the button at the top right-hand corner. If you prefer RSS, that link is below. Additionally, I would invite you to connect with me and Campus to Career on Twitter and Facebook. Check out the “Let’s Connect” tab at the top.
Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be an expert on social media. Just like most of you, I’m simply interested in this topic and wish to share my experiences with others who could benefit from the knowledge passed on. That being said, if you have a question, ask. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to get it for you! I would value connecting with each and every one of you that requests adding me to your network.