Top 6 Tips to Use Facebook in Your Job Search

Facebook Job Search Tori Terhune Tori Randolph TerhuneAt one time or another on Facebook, you posted pictures of you and your friends at parties, gave updates on what you did during your vacation every five minutes and told your Facebook friends how many loads of laundry you did. Not anymore! Facebook has become as crucial to hiring managers as job interviews.

According to HuffPost Business, 37 percent of hiring managers check job applicants’ social media networks, with over 65 percent of these employers checking Facebook. And college applicants should be wary as well, because 87 percent of college recruiters use Facebook to recruit prospective students. Here are six tips to help you utilize your Facebook to build a personal brand you can be proud of.

1. Upload a Professional Photo
The first and most important step for your brand consistency in your job search is using your professional photo in your social network. I’ve said this in every blog post in this Social Networks For Your Job Search blog series, and I’ll repeat it here: get your professional head shot now and use it on all your profiles. It makes you look professional and assures recruiters they’ve found the right person.

2. Be Thorough in Your ‘About’ Copy
Facebook Graph Search has revolutionized the job search on Facebook. If you have access to Graph Search, or if you read my recent post,  you know exactly what I’m talking about. Recruiters can now search for job seekers outside of the immediate network based on pages, music, books, etc., that you like and the keywords in your profile. This means you need to be thorough in your about section. Fill in as much education and work experience as you can, being sure to load descriptions with keywords.

3. Clean Your Profile
As I mentioned in #3, Facebook Graph Search will categorize you and rank you in recruiters’ searches based on things you like, or are connected to, on Facebook. It’s time to go back to all those funny groups you joined in college, or pages that might not fit your brand, and leave or unlike them. Remember: your social networks are simply a way for you to build your brand, nothing more. If you think South Park or Kanye West are a key part of your brand, then leave them on there.

4. Adjust Your Privacy Settings.
Make sure you turn timeline review on in your Facebook privacy settings so that your friends cannot tag you in a post or photo without your approval. This prevents your (sometimes) unprofessional-minded friends from posting photos on your wall/timeline that are not brand builders, and gives you another opportunity to control exactly what hiring managers see about you.

5. Like Away
Now that you’ve cleaned your profile and are in charge of what others can see, like companies and public figures related to your industry. Employers will see how passionate and involved you are in your industry. It will also make optimize your profile and rank you higher in Graph Search.

6. Promote Yourself
Think of Facebook first and foremost as a channel to promote your personal brand. Only post content that builds that brand. Use pictures in your posts to get more views. Comment appropriately on your Facebook friends’ content. Add value to your Facebook friends by liking and sharing their content. And remember: when in doubt if content will build your brand, don’t post!

What do you think? Do you have any other tips on how to utilize Facebook to promote your personal brand? Comment below!

*This is part of my blog series on using social networks to help your job search. If you have a network you would like included in the series, please let me know by commenting below!*

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Facebook Graph Search and your Job Search

facebook graph search job search tori randolph terhuneIf you’re anything like me, the word graph makes you cringe. Your brain recalls the tedious process of graphing points on an axis, drawing a straight line and finding the slope. Some graphs are your friend though, and Facebook’s new Graph Search, soon to be used by all hiring managers,  is definitely one of those.

What is Graph Search?

Graph Search has started rolling out to users, and the graph data comes from Facebook users’ profile information. Using key search terms, recruiters can now dial in for graphic designers, in a certain city, who like coffee, the San Francisco Giants and have read three specific books…WOW! This makes Facebook much more useful in the job search, but also makes it important for jobseekers to make their pages the best representation of their personal brand. The information that you have in your about section, pages you’ve liked and any TV shows, movies, books, etc., you have listed are all game for Graph Search.

Here are three tips to help you promote your personal brand and hirability on Facebook.

1. Use a Vanity URL

Choose your name as your vanity URL. For instance, your URL should be facebook.com/firstnamelastname. Or, if you use your middle name or initial (like me), include that in your URL. This makes it easier for hiring recruiters to find you, which keeps them happy. Facebook only lets you change this once, so pick a good one!

2. Complete Your Profile

It is important that you fill out your about section with keywords relevant to your industry and personal brand. For example, you can list every title that describes you such as blogger, journalist or dance instructor. Don’t use cutesy quotes to describe yourself; think of your about section as a branch of your resume, and include any important descriptions of yourself there. You should also fill out all jobs, schools and relationships with those in your network on your profile.

3. Utilize Likes

Like companies, non-profit organizations, public figures, books, and anything that is part of your desired industry, or that reflects your personal brand. Graph Search enables hiring recruiters to not only scope out a candidate’s skills but also to determine whether he or she will fit in with the company culture based on personal likes on Facebook.

What do you think? Have you tried any other Graph Search optimization techniques? Comment below!

Will Resumes Become Obsolete in the Face of Social Media?

Social Media Resume Job Search

Will the word “resume” become a foreign word to future job seekers? Using LinkedIn, job seekers now have a virtual record of experience, projects and recommendations that can be edited and updated with the click of a mouse. And with 98% of recruiters going social to find their new recruits, the resume has a much smaller role in hiring decisions.

Many of these recruiters are shying away from traditional resumes and going social to sites like LinkedIn because social profiles paint the bigger picture of a job seeker’s background. For example, LinkedIn provides wider descriptions of job seekers’ in-depth background, specific posts and content, recommendations, specific skills and expertise, a full biography, test scores, publications, organizations the candidate belongs to and more (as long as the job seeker in question has fully utilized their profile!).

Recruiters can also see which groups job seekers belong to and find out how involved they are in their industry. All of this gives the recruiter an in-depth view of the job seeker and how he or she could be essential to the company, much of which is simply not available on a resume.

My personal opinion: I don’t think resumes will become extinct in the near future, as many HR departments like to have a paper trail, and having some kind of handout to give potential employers at career fairs, etc., is essential. However, the face of resumes will change (and are already changing ) drastically in the coming years.

What do you think? Will resumes ever become obsolete?

Social Media vs. Online Media

Social media is a term that has been overused, over-broadened and, frankly, abused. “Social media” brings to mind Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, blog sites, and a grand list of networks which continues to build every day.

There are some who advocate ditching the term “social media,” opting instead for “online” media. This is an appropriate shift as many use these profiles for extremely different reasons. Here are a few examples of non-social online media use from top-tier networks to get you thinking:

Twitter. This one hits close to home; I know when I started using Twitter I didn’t use it to be social, I used it as a way to receive breaking news, interesting tidbits and hilarious jokes/memes/etc. I used Twitter every day, but I went at least a year without actually tweeting anything (I know, how very anti-social of me). I also know that the sole purpose of many young tweeters is to simply follow their celebrity crushes and get all the gossip first.

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is similar in that you can set up a profile, fill it out and then it can sit there for years without an update, which again isn’t very social.

YouTube. Millions watch YouTube without ever posting a video or a comment. And even if users upload videos, some upload them for purposes other than social (blasting their opinions, oversharing, etc.).

Facebook. Scary but true, there are the Facebook stalkers out there! People sign up for Facebook simply to watch what others are up to, and even create fake accounts to use while catfishing.

WordPress/Tumblr/Blogspot. Some bloggers are unfortunately guilty of blasting at people. Sharing thoughts and opinions with no real intent of connecting with others. It’s the idea of holding a megaphone and yelling at/over people, rather than sitting across from someone and engaging (or listening, as I like to call it).

What do you think? Are you up for the overhaul of the word “social” in your media? Are you social or merely online?