CREATING YOUR FACEBOOK PROFILE

This section of our guide is meant to help you create a professional version of your Facebook profile. It will not walk you through the creation of your initial profile. We recommend that you create a complete facebook profile. The more complete your profile is, the more likely an employer is going to reach out to you.

Profile Pictures

Your profile can have either one or two photos on it. One is your profile picture, and the other is your cover photo. Both of these photos are visible to the public. Typically, your profile picture is going to be a photo of you. We recommend that you choose a photo that shows only you and that you are avoiding anything inappropriate in the photo. (Check out the Social Media Faux Pas section to see examples of what NOT to do).

Your cover photo is the larger photo at the top of your profile, above your profile picture. Your cover photo may or may not be a photo of you. Typically, it is either a photo of you in a group setting or a photo that does not include you. Some ideas might include a group photo from an organization you're in, an infographic resume, or a snapshot from a portfolio. Feel free to use these ideas or something different.

Timeline

For your timeline, we highly recommend that you go through your history and try to identify potentially inappropriate posts, regardless of who posted them to your wall. Simple Wash is a website that can help you identify inappropriate wall posts or photos on both Facebook and Twitter.

For information about strategic content to post in your status updates, see the "Using Your Facebook Profile" section.

About Section

Work and Education: In this section, you can include information about your education history, including each college or university you've attended and what degrees you received from them. You can also include a description of your degree, including some core classes you took.

You can also include information about your work history. Although most people only list the place that they worked and their job title, there is also space to describe what you did. You have the option of copying and pasting descriptions from your resume or your LinkedIn profile here, but we recommend that you write something specific for facebook that is a little bit more concise. Like your resume, we recommend that you highlight accomplishments and use numbers where possible.

Another unknown part of the Work and Education section is the Professional Skills sub-section. In this area, you can list your professional skills (both technical skills and soft skills), as well as professional interests. When you click on one of the professional skills you have selected, you will be taken to a page that highlights that skill. This page will show you people in your network that have also listed that skill as an interest, providing a helpful avenue for strategic networking.

When creating this section, it may be worthwhile to look at profiles of employees who work at companies you are interested in. What sorts of things do these people have in common? Do you share these traits with them? If so, try to highlight it on your profile. We obviously are not advocating for you to make up information so that you closer align with a company's employees, but if you already align with them, it may be helpful to make that visible in your profile.

Contact and Basic Information: In this section, you can add information about how people can contact you. This is helpful for networking purposes and for job hunting purposes. We recommend that you use the email address that you are listing on your resume so that it is easier for employers to find your profile. You can also include your birthday, gender, spoken languages, religious views, and political views. Adding spoken languages is often a smart decision (especially if you speak multiple languages). We recommend using caution when posting your religious and political views, as well as your birthday and even gender. Each of these sections offer an opportunity for an employer to discriminate against you (consciously or subconsciously). If this is something that you are concerned about, you may want to consider leaving them blank.

Details About You: In this section, you will find an opportunity to write a summary, give the correct pronunciation of your name, list nicknames, and list favorite quotes. This can be a good section for giving an employer a better idea of who you are. Most people that get vetted on facebook are capable of doing the job they applied for. When a company is vetting you on social media, they are trying to determine if you are a good "fit" for their organization. This page can help them make that determination. It is worth mentioning that there are also sections on facebook for listing your favorite movies, TV shows, music, books, and more. This can also be an opportunity to show an employer who you are and what your interests are.

Friends

Adding friends on Facebook can be an important tool for strengthening and utilizing your network. Not only will adding friends give you an easy opportunity to stay in touch with them, but it can also give you a way to utilize your friends' networks. To learn more about utilizing the 'Friends of Friends' function, go to the 'Using Your Facebook Profile' section.

Adding Coworkers: One element of facebook that people do not always agree on is whether or not it is appropriate to add your coworkers (and your boss) as friends. Your own personal preferences for how you use your facebook account will make a difference on how you view this topic. As there is neither a right answer nor a wrong answer, the articles below can help you weigh the pros and cons of adding your coworkers so that you can make a decision that you will be comfortable with.

Photos

When posting photos on your facebook account, we recommend that you use judgment. You want to make an effort to avoid any unprofessional photos that could cost you a job or promotion. Use this website to help you identify which photos (and statuses) might have inappropriate content so that you don't have to spend hours searching through your history. Check out the Social Media Faux Pas section for additional information of what is not appropriate.

Groups

Joining professional groups and liking professional pages (topical or company-specific) can be a great way to add a professional angle to your profile. Consider liking the companies that you are most interested in working for and joining professional groups, including the 'UA Career Development Center' and groups that are industry specific. When you join these groups, be active in them. Post relevant articles and/or comment on articles others have posted. This will allow you to make connections with people in your field and to expand your network. It will also help you stay up-to-date on your field and your professional development.