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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Common Name? There’s a Social Fix For That!

Popular Name Social Media ToriRTerhune Tori Randolph TerhuneChances are you’ve heard the mantra: There will never be another you. It’s true that everyone has their own unique personality, but the same cannot be said for names. Unless you’ve got a crazy name, or are just plain lucky, there may be several folks that share your name. In fact, there are 2.7 million people with the last name Smith!

Unfortunately, this can cause confusion for hiring managers when they Google you after reading your stellar resume. Someone with the same name as you may have posted photos on Instagram of him or herself drinking in Las Vegas over the weekend. A mistaken identity in this instance could damage your personal brand. Here are five things you can do in your social media plan if you have a popular name to help you protect your personal brand.

1. Embrace a nickname. Shorten your legal name or come up with something unique from a middle name or fun school-aged nickname. You aren’t changing your name, and you can ask to be called something else in the office, but it will make it much easier for people to find you on social networks.

2. Use your middle initial. Don’t want to part with your first name? No problem! Keep your first and last name and just insert your middle initial. I’ve used this with my new married name, and ToriRTerhune is my handle and username on all networks.

3. Tag your industry to your name. If your career is in PR or you have a CPA, wear your industry and title proud. For example, ToriPR or ToriTerhune_CPA. Your name will not only be distinguished, but it will make it easy to see what you do and recruiters will see how passionate you are about your industry.

4. Underscore it. Use your first name, then the underscore symbol followed by your last name. Example: Tori_Terhune.

5. Add numbers. You can tag on your college or high school graduation date, or perhaps a lucky number to your username. I’ve seen people run with this and use the address where they grew up, and then really build into part of their brand using the numbers graphically in their online resumes and profiles.

6. Add THE. Many people recommend putting THE in front of your name to distinguish yourself; however, with a very popular name, this could be done already!

What do you think? Do you have other tips on what to do with your social media if you have a popular name? 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?

Book Coming Soon (and new Blog)

Land Your Dream Career 11 Steps to Take in CollegeWelcome to my new blog! I’m thrilled to continue to share thoughts, experiences and tips for landing that dream job, continuing your career, and — my passion — how social/online media fits in. Land Your Dream Career: 11 Steps to Take in College (my book!) is slated to come out March 16, and I can’t wait! I hope to connect with all of you and hear your thoughts on the book (both good and bad), answer follow up questions and share new revelations, as my opinions change over time after publication.

Please continue to share any tips or questions in the comments on this blog and I will do my very best to answer all of you!

Have a great day!

TRT