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When you say “social media,” Facebook is probably the first site that comes to mind. Not surprising, since there are over 2.19 billion users worldwide as of 2018. Facebook is the most popular social media network worldwide.

In this section: Public Posts, and Using Facebook for a Job Search.

Public Posts

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For people who want to connect with others, Facebook can be a good place to start. However, keep in mind that the purpose of social media is to share: this means that anything you share on Facebook could be seen by billions of other people. People are often surprised about who sees something they post. If you post an inappropriate joke on your sister’s Facebook page, other people, like your grandma, will be able to see it as well. Or, if you call in sick but then post pictures of yourself at the mall, a coworker could see that and report it to your boss.

To avoid negative fallout in your professional and social circles, you need to pay attention to your online reputation.

Things to consider before you post on Facebook:

Anyone can see what you post

  • Before you rant about your commute to work, remember that anyone, including current and future employers, may see what you post. Posts peppered with swear words, alcohol or drug use, and complaints about employers or coworkers are not flattering (not to mention could be illegal).
    • Think about it this way: Is this something you’d say to your mom or grandma? Or your priest or boss?
  • Your posts could appear in search engine results, which means that people not logged in to Facebook could still see them. You can adjust this in your privacy settings. Go to Appearing in Search Engine Results on the Facebook Help Center to learn how to do this.

Do some ‘spring cleaning’

  • Read over the posts you’ve made and comments others have left on your wall. Remove any that could be offensive.
  • If you want, you can change your privacy settings so that you have to approve posts to your wall or pictures you are tagged in.
  • If you don’t want to go through years of posts or are worried about past Facebook content, you can limit old posts that show on your timeline.
  • Remember the groups you have joined, such as “Creative excuses for calling in sick to work” may be visible to others. In addition, groups you’ve joined could disclose personal or sensitive information that you may not wish your employer to know, like your political or religious beliefs.

Set your privacy settings

  • Adjust your privacy settings so only “friends” can see your posts, photos, religious and political views. To see what your page looks like to visitors, follow these directions: Facebook Help Center – How can I see what my Page looks like to visitors?
  • Consider restricting who may post on your timeline so your friends don’t say something inappropriate. A friend may think posting a picture of you passed out surrounded by beer bottles is funny, but an employer will not.

Look at your pictures

  • Evaluate your profile picture. Is your picture something you’d want a potential employer to see as their first impression of you?
  • Remove or untag photos that portray you in a negative way. To review photos you have shared or the photos you are tagged in, use the Facebook activity log.  Remember, posts you may have hidden on your timeline could be viewed on someone else’s timeline if you were tagged in a post or picture.

Look at your apps

  • Other people may be able to see the apps you have installed in your profile. Installing an app that lists the closest marijuana dispensary or an app that displays DUI check points doesn’t inspire confidence. To edit your app settings, go to Manage Your Apps in the Facebook Help Center.

For more information, see: Prepping your Facebook for a Job Hunt

Using Facebook for Job Search

You can now apply for jobs using Facebook. To see job postings, you can go to the company’s Facebook page, or you can search the “Jobs” page. To get to the “Jobs” page, click on the “Jobs” link on the left side of your homepage, under “Explore.” (You may have to click the “See More…” drop-down menu to see it).

From the “Jobs” page, you can search job postings by location, job type (full or part-time, internship, volunteer, contract), and industry. To apply for a job, click the “Apply Now” button on the posting, and a screen will pop-up that’s automatically filled out with information you’ve added to your Facebook profile. This is why it’s important to keep your Facebook profile information up-to-date. You can edit any of the information on the form, and there is a place to type in a cover letter expressing your interest and explain your skills and qualifications. This form is only 1,000 characters, however.

For more information and to see a video and photos of what this process looks like, check out these links: “You can now apply and interview for a job entirely within Facebook” and “How to Use Facebook’s New Job Search Feature.”

To update the Work and Education section of your profile, go to the “About” section. Here are some instructions: “How do I update the About section of my profile?”

More tips for how to use Facebook in your job search

Sort your friends so you target professional content to your business network

  • You can sort your Facebook contacts into lists. This could be helpful to keep your professional contacts separate from your family or school friends. This link to the Facebook Help Center has instructions: “How do I create a list to organize my friends?
  • Remember that current or potential employers still might be able to see your posts. Don’t post or share anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see.

Stay engaged

  • Post content that is related to your job interests, and “like” and comment on other people’s postings if they’re on similar topics. This helps you develop and maintain professional relationships, and is another way to show your interests and skills.

Join professional groups

  • Online groups can be a great way to network and develop professional relationships. They’re also a good way to hear about job openings and other opportunities.

Follow companies you are interested in

  • Sharing information you learned via Facebook in a cover letter or during an interview is a good way to show your interest in a company.  For example, if you were applying for a job at a restaurant, sharing that you were thrilled to see nutritional information about your favorite meal on the restaurant’s Facebook page shows you are interested in and supportive of the restaurant.

Keep your eye out for jobs or volunteer opportunities from your friends

  • Pay attention to what your friends post—people often will share job openings and volunteer opportunities from where they work on social media. This is a good way to find a job, and might give you a leg up when you apply since you know a current employee.

Use tools to discover unknown connections

  • You can use Glassdoor, a job search and recruiting site, to learn about an employer, research company salaries and see where your Facebook friends work when you link Glassdoor to your Facebook account.

 For more information, check out these links:

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