Facebook is a powerful tool for connecting people and staying in touch. People use it daily to catch up with the latest news, share pictures, or chat with friends. But did you know that Facebook plays a vital role in your job search as well?
Half of all potential employers will look at your Facebook page as part of the screening process, according to CareerBuilder. It will tell them who you are as a person — what your interests are, how you spend your time, who you associate with, how you express yourself in writing, your political affiliation, whether or not you are married, or if you are a partier, a jock or a couch potato. What are they going to find on YOUR Facebook page today?
Search through the last 3 months of your Facebook posts and evaluate yourself as an employer will. Are you family-oriented, or do you hang out with friends? Do you drink and go to nightclubs and party hard every weekend? Do you spend hours on end playing video games? What values do you express in your posts? Are many of your posts about alcohol, sex or laced with profanity or cynicism? Or do you engage in positive or altruistic activities such as volunteer work or church activities? Do you walk in charity events, belong to the Y, or participate in Ironman competitions? Do you care for and spend time with parents, family members, your spouse or children? Potential employers will look at your posts with these questions in mind to understand you as a person.
Employers are generally looking for a stable mature adult with some family responsibilities that they know would take the job seriously and won’t quit on a whim. Any potential employer will invest tens of thousands of dollars in training you for the job, and they want to feel comfortable that you are a reliable, serious employee who will fit into the company culture.
3 Steps to Manage Your Facebook Postings
- Go through your own Facebook timeline and delete any photos or posts that will not look good to a potential employer. To remove objectionable posts, highlight the little down arrow on the top right corner of the post, and click “delete” or “hide from timeline.”
- If you are tagged in someone else’s unflattering post, ask them to hide or delete the post in which you are tagged.
- Actively start posting positive messages and images that a potential employer will appreciate. Post inspirational messages. Talk about positive things you are doing. Post about successes in school or work, or charity events you are involved in. Make posts that show your value system. Post about family members and business or community leaders you admire. Share positive stats, information, or images relating to your profession. But be authentic. Let your Facebook page sing your praises to a potential employer.