Although Facebook allows you to post your job information, it’s not useful or practical to use it as a professional online resume like LinkedIn. But that doesn’t mean it can’t also serve as a tool to show off how awesome you are.
Meaning, you should take advantage of Facebook’s encouragement of personal over-sharing to demonstrate how put-together and well rounded you are in your personal life (even if you think you’re not). Potential employers are looking!
Below are tips on how to make the most of Facebook’s various features to create your personal image.
Posting pictures on Facebook is a great way to form your personal image, because they give your Facebook friends a way to visually interpret who you are.
Your Profile Picture and Cover Photo:
On Facebook, you can be a bit more casual than on Twitter and LinkedIn. Your profile picture doesn’t need to be a professional-looking headshot. Feel free to use a family photo or a picture of you and your friends. Just make sure it reflects an aspect of yourself that you want others to know about you, and that it doesn’t include anything that could be considered inappropriate (examples: nudity or alcohol).
Similarly, your cover photo should reflect a positive aspect of yourself or your interests that you want others to know about.
Your Photo Albums:
Uploading appropriate photos from various vacations or outings and events you attend will show your Facebook friends where you like to go and who you hang out with in your spare time.
Keep in mind that there are some memories that are better preserved offline. Pictures from your 21st birthday party at a strip club, if you must keep them, should be kept on your hard drive.
Reminder: If you’ve linked your Instagram account to your Facebook profile, the pictures that you post and like on Instagram will show up on your Facebook Timeline and on your friends’ News Feeds.
What to Include in Your ‘About’ Section:
- Work and Education: Include.
- Birthdate: If you choose to include this information, don’t include your birth year.
- Relationship Status: Not necessary, but use your own discretion.
- Contact Information: Only include if you want to be contacted through those means.
- Political views: Probably a bad idea, especially if you’re young. Your politics are likely going to change and develop as you go through life. Only do this if it’s also relevant to your professional life.
- Religious views: Not necessary, but use your own discretion.
- Favourite Books/Movies/Music: Include, but make sure they are reflective of the image you want to portray.
Posting Status Updates:
Facebook status updates have a huge character limit, which gives you much more space than Twitter to post a lengthy heat-of-the-moment rant about how much you hate your:
- significant other
- family member
- or boss
Don’t do that.
If you need an outlet for your thoughts and/or frustrations, write them out in a journal (or word document if you prefer to type!) or call a friend.
Use the Facebook status update tool to post about your (mostly positive) thoughts on an event you attended, an occurrence that you witnessed, or about exciting things that have happened to you.
You should also every so often share links to articles that you think your friends will find interesting, and that will also make you look interesting.
Clicking the Like Button and Commenting On Your Friends’ Posts:
Always keep in mind that the posts that you like and comment on can show up on your friends’ Facebook News Feed.
So don’t like your friend’s ‘go make me a sandwich’ post (delete this friend instead), or comment on a post about Rush Limbaugh saying that you agree with everything that Rush Limbaugh has ever said.
Instead, show how supportive you are of your friends’ successes and life happenings. And like posts about jokes that are actually funny and clever.
- Be consistent with the image you’re portraying.
- Use proper spelling and grammar.
- Be sure to not post any information about yourself wouldn’t want your boss (or your professors!) to know, even if you believe they’ll never see it.
- Try to wait five minutes and read a potential post over a few times before submitting it.
And, of course,
- Absolutely do not ever post anything that is in any way racist, sexist, homophobic, or elitist.
Do you have any additional tips on how to create or improve your personal image on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below!