build your brand.

  • resumes
  • July 21, 2016

It’s no secret that Facebook is the king of social media platforms. According to the company’s 2016 First Quarter Financial Summary, roughly 1.65 billion people sign on to the social media platform at least once a month. That means there are more Facebook users than the population of the United States, South America and Europe ... combined. With so many people using the site to post endless topics, it can be hard to find your professional voice. However, using strategies similar to our LinkedIn tips, you can optimize your Facebook account to create professional connections — or even find a job — without giving up on the YouTube videos you like to share with your friends. Here are five quick steps you can take today to create a more professional Facebook profile.

a picture says a thousand words

What’s the first thing you look at when you open someone’s profile? It’s probably the square profile image and large cover photo that appear at the top of that user’s page. This is where you will make your first impression to anyone with whom you are not already connected.

Think twice about the picture you decide to use as your profile image. A professional headshot or family photo is more well-received than a picture of you and your friends out drinking. You can be a little more creative with your cover image. Use this space to showcase a hobby or exciting experience. Be sure to pick something interesting so people will remember you.

stay fresh

Just like you learned by reading Randstad’s tips to build a better LinkedIn profile, it’s important to keep your Facebook profile fresh with updated information. You don’t have to go overboard here and add every single detail,but take a few minutes to look what your profile says about your Work and Education. This is where you can add information about your employment history, professional skills and educational background. Adding this information makes it easier for you to find other people who have worked at the same companies or have similar skill sets, information that provides you with an opportunity to create networking contacts.

update your privacy settings

Facebook gives you the option of giving only certain people permission to view your profile and posts. By going into your Settings and then selecting Privacy or Timeline and Tagging, you have the power to customize quite a bit of your profile. A few areas you should focus on include who can view your timeline and which contact information is made public.

Another setting you should enable allows you to approve any post or photo in which you are tagged before it appears on your timeline. This is extremely useful for those moments when a friend tags you in a photo that you might not want your professional contacts to see. Toward the top of the Timeline and Tagging section, find the option to Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline. Click edit and then click enable.

audit your profile

Even after you adjust your privacy settings, that doesn’t mean those embarrassing pictures from your past will just go away. Take a close look at your profile and remove anything that looks unprofessional, such as controversial posts or incriminating photos in which you have been tagged. You probably have at least one picture — maybe even your main profile image — that could be viewed as Not Safe For Work (NSFW). If something is on the internet, even the best privacy settings can’t hide it forever. And you know bosses and hiring managers will check you out on social media.

create lists

One Facebook feature that not many users take advantage of allows you to create lists for your contacts — and cater your posts to specific people. For instance, a clothing boutique might use lists to post different content and offers to customers only as compared to the general public. On your Facebook Home page, go to the Friends column, click on More and then click on Create List. A window will open that allows you to name your list and add friends. A couple lists to consider would be College Friends, Co-workers or Networking Contacts. Now that you’ve classified your friends, you can create posts that are only viewable by people in those specific lists. This means you can still post those baby pictures and random musing on life to your college friends, while your co-workers or potential job contacts will see posts regarding your industry or general business updates. It’s still fine to post things to all of your friends from time to time, just make sure it’s something you’re fine with anyone seeing.

so get posting!

By using the above tips, you are now set up to begin using your Facebook account to advance your career and gain valuable contacts. You never know when one of those contacts will think of you when a position opens at that person’s company. So your next step is to create interesting posts and find articles to share. Happy posting!

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