If you are not using your personal Facebook as a tool to build awareness for yourself in the job market, you are missing out on a very powerful and free branding tool. Facebook is used by more than half of the world's online population and by the end of 2015 it had more than 1.5 billion monthly users.
According to September 2015 study done by the Society for Human Resource Management, more than one-half (57%) of organizations had sourced new hires through LinkedIn, which is not surprising, since LinkedIn is the premier social network for employers and job seekers. But surprisingly, 19% of companies had sourced new hires from Facebook. Furthermore, about 25% of HR professionals thought it was important to be on Facebook.
"But my personal page is for friends and family." There's Snapchat, Whatsapp, Skype and a host of other fun platforms to interact with friends and family. So it's time to start using your Facebook page in strategic way to help you get that job you want.
Here are the Power Facebook Tips you need to improve your personal brand and make you more attractive to employers:
• Be Professional Your Facebook page should look serious and be representative of your brand. Make sure the "workplace" section is accurately filled out. It should match exactly what you have on LinkedIn. Do not post things you wouldn't want co-workers or employers to see. As a rule, don't ever make a post about partying, drinking, gambling or anything vulgar. One off-putting post and you will lose a potential employer - and you won't even know it.
Here's what a survey of over 900 hiring managers observed from potential candidate's social media:
• Smart Security Allow your posts to be publicly visible. Nothing your posting should really be private and you want as many people to view your posts as possible. At the same time, go to the setting: "Who can add things to my timeline?" and set to "only me." Turn on approval of all tags before they appear on your timeline. You don't want other people's thoughts on your wall and you don't want to be tagged at the strip club - as someone's joke.
• Be Friendly Friend people often and approve all friend requests from real people. Like any social-media platform, the goal is to have as many followers as possible, but be wary of fake accounts and decline those invitations. If you are popular an employer will want you more. It's simple psychology.
• No Politics No one should be able to easily determine your political views. I always take into account what a potential employer, who is opposite of my political views, would think of my posts. If you need to vent, there are many closed groups on Facebook where you can do that. If a hiring manager is a Hillary Clinton supporter and you are posting, "Donald Trump will make America great again," you're not going to be considered for the job.
• No Whining and Complaining No one wants to hear about bad service at the DMV, the traffic, the boil on your toe that burst, or how bad your life is. If I wouldn't say it to a first date, I won't post it on Facebook. Face your problems, don't Facebook them. If you complain on Facebook, you'll likely complain in the workplace.
• Rock Your Profile Picture If your profile picture has you shirtless or is of you taking a selfie in a mirror, immediately stop reading this article and go change it. You look ridiculous. This is not LinkedIn, so you don't necessarily have to have a professional headshot, but you do have to have an interesting and attractive picture. You want to have a picture that represents you in a positive way and creates a conversation. The goal is to get people to interact with you anyway you can. Sometimes when I have little to post about, a change in my profile picture can generate a lot of interest. Here's an example of how I worked a post with my profile picture.
• Always Post with a Picture Never make a text-only post. Picture posts get much more attention from the viewer and Facebook promotes those posts more. Even if it's just a holiday wish, make sure to use a picture. As an example, here is my Thanksgiving post, which is just a simple statement, but the picture sends it big. Pictures also show how creative you can be and more quickly show what you are about.
• Be Interesting and Informative Content is king. A post that says, "It's hot out" is not going to get the same viewership and interactions as one with a cool picture of an egg frying on the hood of your car. Every post you make should be thought out carefully on how it will build your brand and increase interactions - and keep your friends wanting to see more from you. Use humor when appropriate because making people laugh always draws them to you. Finally, don't be overly narcissistic. My rule is for every self-promoting post, I also try to have a few posts that make fun of myself. You want people and potential employers to like you.
• English 101 For each and every post you make be sure what you write is literate and has correct spelling. This is your opportunity to impress a potential employer when they think you are not being watched. Try to keep the "ROTFLOL"s to a minimum. Communications skills are one of the most important criteria a hiring manager looks for in social media.
Follow these Facebook power tips and you will be leveraging the largest social media platform on earth to create an image of yourself and a personal brand that will be attractive to potential employers - and give you that one extra edge you need to get hired for that job you always wanted.
Come see my Keynote Speech:"Leveraging Social Networks" at the Connect•Work•Thrive Summit March 31st @ Microsoft NYC