It’s becoming increasingly common for professionals to use social media to boost their professional presence. These platforms have taken the world by storm and not using them to help a person achieve his or her professional goals would be madness. LinkedIn is arguably the king of professional social media, but that does not mean you should not invest in a professional Facebook profile as well.
Facebook is the most popular network in the world, and it can help you promote your work, network and connect with other professionals. If you are a jobseeker recruiters will often look you up on Facebook to determine whether you are a good fit or not.
1. Upload a profile photo
Something which you should remember for all your social media accounts is that a profile image is necessary. It helps build your credibility and create trust. As such you need to upload an image that represents who you are and your personal brand. That does not mean that you have to wear a suit etc. but it shouldn’t be unprofessional. Also, make sure to keep your eyes visible as wearing glasses, or having your hair in your face makes you seem less confident.
2. Add a cover photo
Your cover photo should showcase your passions. As such, your cover photo should represent your hobbies; preferably these should relate to what you want to achieve with your professional presence. Many people overlay this image with a URL to their portfolio which can be a great way to help drive recruiters to your personal website.
3. Customise your URL
As the old adage goes ‘the devil is in the details’ and to win points with potential employers and recruiters you need to pay attention to even the smallest details. You should customise your URL; upon sign-up Facebook assigns each user with a URL that’s generally made up of random numbers and letters, but you can change that to your name and have www.facebook.com/your name as your URL.
4. Add your professional experience
Although Facebook cannot be used as your digital CV, there are still many jobseeker pages on Facebook. So, it’s important to add your professional qualifications. Make sure to include where you’ve studied and what kind of titles you hold. It will help make you more distinguishable and also get you noticed by people who might be looking for workers with your skillset.
5. Uninstall games
Facebook games used to be all the rage, fortunately, that time is long gone. But, if you still play or have them installed on your profile then you may want to consider removing them. Having time to play games online reflects poorly on your professionalism, and you don’t want to give recruiters a reason to second-guess you. If you are interested in games, simply keep them somewhere more private.
6. Fix your 'About' page
Unless you have a business, there’s a chance that you’ve never really bothered tailoring your about page to represent your goals properly. But to boost your professional Facebook profile, you need to come up with a short piece of text to help you promote these goals.
What to share
7. Your blog posts
If you want to have a successful career, then you probably have a blog where you can produce original content. To further promote that blog you should share your posts on your Facebook profile as well. It’s important to be consistent, and you perhaps invest in a social media management tool like Buffer.
8. Clever status updates
Remember that Facebook is not Linkedin and you shouldn’t be too serious. Sharing status updates that are not always relevant to your work is encouraged, so think of something that would engage your followers. Asking questions is always a good idea and being witty is recommended, but remember to keep the things you share varied in order to stay interesting.
9. Original content
Although sharing posts from your blog is highly recommended, you should also consider publishing some original content on Facebook as well. Facebook’s Live Video feature is an excellent way to engage with your friends and followers. But it can also help recruiters or potential employers get a better feel of what you are really like.
10. Content from other people
It would be a shame to try to build a professional presence on Facebook and not use other people’s content as well. As a rule of thumb look for posts that are clever, funny and informative. It’s always an excellent idea to share posts from credible sources as well as their content will be more powerful.
11. Create lists of friends
You probably have a lot of Facebook friends you wouldn’t like to share your news with. Bosses and colleagues are a good example of this as we are most often friends with them on Facebook. Creating lists of friends helps you nicely organise all of your friends so that you can choose who you share your updates with.
Make sure that you set your privacy settings to your close friends group so they can see everything you share. If you want to share something that you wouldn’t mind having your boss see as well, you can do it manually.
12. Review posts you are tagged in
Luckily Facebook allows its users to review posts they’ve been tagged in before they are published. This can be a godsend gift when your friends insist on adding pictures of wherever you go and whatever you do. Beware though that unless you untag yourself from those posts they will still appear is searches and newsfeeds.
13. Set your pages' visibility to 'only me'
As Facebook brings together all our interests and hobbies, you probably like and follow pages and people you wouldn’t want your colleagues or your boss to know about. Luckily you can check your privacy settings and set up your pages to only be visible to you.
14. Set your apps sharing permissions to 'only me'
Most apps on Facebook request permission to post to your friends’ lists upon installation, and unless you’ve been aware of this, you’ve probably never changed this setting. But, to avoid something coming up on your boss’s feed that you wouldn’t like him or her to see, make sure you set the sharing permissions to ‘only me’.
Cleaning up your profile
15. Review anything you’ve ever posted
You’ve probably posted something truly unfortunate on the platform. But if you’re now setting up a professional Facebook profile you might want to consider deleting anything you’re not particularly proud of, or anything that you just wouldn’t want your professional connections to see.
This includes pictures, posts, status updates, etc. If there are things that you’d like to keep but would prefer if they weren’t visible to any prospective employers, you can manually change their visibility changes and make them visible to the list of your close friends alone.
16. Review pictures and statuses you’ve been tagged in
You need to perform a similar clean-up process for posts that your friends have shared, and you are tagged in. The only way to truly delete them is by untagging yourself. You can change the privacy settings if you don’t feel like deleting them but be aware that if the person who’s tagged you has their privacy settings set to public then they’ll be public.
17. Look at the comments people have made on your posts and pictures
It goes without saying that how others perceive you is quintessential to creating a positive impression on employers and as such, comments, likes and reactions to your posts need to be taken seriously. This is especially important if you’ve been using the platform for many years as it’s only now that people are becoming aware of the consequences it could have on a person’s professional life.
18. Join groups
Joining groups can help you make meaningful connections with other professionals in your industry so find a group that caters to your interests and passions and join it. Make sure that you don’t join too many groups if you are not going to be able to maintain an active presence on them, rather focus on groups that have a lot of followers and that post things regularly as this will help ensure that you are joining quality groups.
19. Like pages that matter in your industry
Similar to groups, pages can be a great way to learn about new trends in your industry. They are a great way for professionals to find new information and are also a credible sources to share posts from.
20. Friend and follow people who are important in the industry
Although making professional connections on Linkedin is more common, it does not mean that you can’t use Facebook in a similar manner.
Creating a professional Facebook profile is essential if you are looking to advance your career. Just make sure to check your privacy settings and to be careful with what you share, the rest is simply a networking game you need to master.
Are you using your Facebook profile for professional reasons? Let me know in the comment section below.