Facebook & The Job Search

facebook-under-a-magnifying-glass.jpgCareer change? Fresh out of college? Whatever your reason for searching for a new job, we all know that it can be an incredibly daunting task.

As you may or may not know, I am a Marketing graduate, but I have also completed my post-grad in Human Resources. Working in a Marketing role at a staffing & recruitment company has not only been the perfect marriage for my educational background, but it has allowed me to be exposed to the application, interviewing and hiring process as well as regularly frequenting social media to recruit new candidates. I’ve mentioned it in past blogs, but a huge chunk of my day is spent on social media… and I come across the profiles of thousands of individuals on a daily basis.

It’s becoming increasingly more popular for companies to conduct social media checks on potential employees—a practice that many disagree with. The fact of the matter is, however, that it’s a practice that is occurring. It’s incredibly easy for recruiters or those in charge of hiring to find your Facebook profile since you’ve given them pertinent information—your real name, email address and phone number. To ensure your Facebook profile is leaving potential employers with a positive impression of you, the candidate, consider the following:

  1. Check yourself out. When you’re logged into Facebook, click on your own profile, hover over your cover photo, click the ellipses (…) on the bottom right of the photo, and click “View As”.  Facebook will automatically refresh your page to show you how the public (those who are not your friends) view your profile. From here, you can change your settings to make certain sections (such as your photos, friends list, timeline, etc.) viewable by your friends only. The key to this is to change everything so that random people clicking on your profile can only see the bare minimum: your profile picture, your cover photos, your city and your name.  lld.jpg
  2. Speaking of your name… it doesn’t hurt to change it by using your middle name in place of your last name instead. This isn’t necessarily being deceitful, but it can limit the likelihood of someone finding your profile.
  3. Choose your profile picture wisely.  For obvious reasons, pass on the photos of you drinking on a night out. Sure, you had a fun time, but you’re trying to land a job. Your photo doesn’t necessarily need to be a head shot, but having one may lead others to view you in a more professional manner. Aim to be presentable. On that note, Facebook now automatically makes your profile picture viewable by the public and many are unaware of this. Go back through your pictures and change the privacy settings of each one to be viewable by friends only.
  4. Untag, untag, untag.  As I’ve mentioned, your profile represents YOU. Take some time to untag yourself from photos that your friends/family have added of you that don’t portray you in the best light.
  5. Delete, delete, delete.  This goes hand-in-hand with untagging; spend a few moments scrolling through your timeline to review the content you or others have posted to your profile. Sure, you might’ve thought something was funny in 2008, but how does it reflect on your character in 2017? Tidy up!

It may seem like a lot of work to get your profile in tip-top shape, but your goal is to become employed at a company you are obviously interested in. If you’re offered the job, you’ll likely “friend” your coworkers and they’ll end up seeing your entire profile, anyways. At least you’ll be one step ahead! Good luck!


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