Onward Debates: Facebook Can Get You a Job?

It’s true what they say about Big Brother. He’s always watching. In the case of searching for a summer internship or *gasp* a real job, your potential employer(s) will certainly be poking around your Facebook page to determine whether you’re a worthy candidate. It’s up to you to determine what they find, and you can use this to your advantage.

Instead of changing your name and/or privacy settings to avoid the eyes of potential employers, why not take the extra time to manage your profile and make it employer-friendly? Here are a few tips on how you can make Facebook a “friend” during your job search.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and probably more than your resume.

Be wary of photos you’re tagged in, and don’t be afraid to ask your friend to take down “that picture” of you from last night (or this morning). And, for those of you 21 and above, don’t forget that being legal doesn’t always mean being free of judgement from potential employers.

Pictures, however, also allow hiring managers to get a better sense of who you are, and you can use this to your benefit. Yes, your resume might have a line about your semester abroad in Australia or your position as a THON Captain, but an album full of photos highlighting your experience give that line much more credibility. With a little common sense and discretion, your Facebook will become a visual peek into the well-rounded, great person you (think you) are.

I make all of my Facebook profile pictures visible to everyone for a reason. Click through them and you’ll see me standing first row at Beaver Stadium, spending time on the floor at THON, traveling, meeting celebrities, and having (appropriate) fun with my friends and family. These photos display some of my most cherished experiences, and they tell a more complete story about me than any resume, cover letter, or interview ever could.

Take ten seconds and “edit” your status before you update it.

Avoid using profanity, keep the subject PG-13, and make sure you at least attempt to use correct spelling. Posting thoughtful and/or relevant status updates might impress a recruiter looking at your profile. A status update reading “cannot beliuve how drunk i stikll am” will not. Again, all it takes is a little common sense.

Avoid venting

We all get frustrated sometimes.  I know I do, but be careful what message you’re sending before you post a status expressing your frustration over that professor you just can’t stand or your best friend’s cheating boyfriend. The saying goes that you should leave an angry letter in drawer for a few days before deciding to send it, and the same logic should be applied to a Facebook status.

Also, if your frustration at all involves your current/past job(s) or internship(s), do not post a related status. That’s just asking to be removed from consideration.

Hit the “Share” button!

It’s important to make sure that you don’t seem like you’d rather spend all day on StumbleUpon than doing anything else (even if it’s true), but sharing a few relevant stories or videos each day shows initiative and confidence. Along the same lines, sharing links relevant to your major or intended career field shows passion and interest for what you’ll be doing in the professional world, which is obviously attractive to recruiters.

Sharing links is especially relevant if you have a personal connection to, or even mention in, the link/story. For those of you in the media world, you’re way behind if you’re not already doing this with your own work. Be proud of what you do, and share it with others!

That’s all I have for you. Go forth, and use Facebook to your advantage when it comes to your job/internship search. And don’t forget to check out Lauren Feinstein’s reasons why Facebook will only harm you as you look to enter the professional world!

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About the Author

John Tecce

John is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He currently serves as the President of the Paternoville Coordination Committee and as a THON Chair for Nittany Nation. He tweets a lot.

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