If you’re like most U.S. adults who use the Internet, you are on Facebook. A full 71 percent of online adults use the social network, according to a study conducted by Pew Internet Research.
What’s more, 70 percent of Facebook users engage with the site daily, and 45 percent do so more several times per day.
All this social interaction has significant implications for your career.
In addition to watching cat videos, adult Facebook users share information about job openings with friends, family members, and business associates. And these pass-along posts get results.
Among job seekers on social media, a whopping 76 percent say they found their current position through Facebook, according to a study conducted by Jobvite, a provider of recruiting software.
Facing the facts
Of course, in order for your Facebook friends to pass along a job, they need to know more about you — more than what those Facebook quizzes reveal: if you were a superhero you would be Wonder Woman and in medieval times your job would have been witch doctor.
With advancing your career in mind, you’ll want to make sure your Facebook profile is complete.
This doesn’t mean updating your relationship status or adding who you’re interested in. And it doesn’t mean adding your religious or political views.
What to include
In order to use Facebook to further your career, you’ll want to make sure the “Work and Education” section contains at least basic information. Include your job title and current company, as well as your education. There is also a category called “Professional Skills,” where you can showcase specific abilities, if you choose.
You’ll definitely want to let people know you live and work in Alaska by adding your current city.
Then, carefully consider your preferred method of contact. Although people do include phone numbers, you may wish to share only an email address.
By default, Facebook includes a Facebook email address, which forwards messages to the email you used when you joined the social network. If you decide to continue to use the Facebook email address, make sure messages are forwarded to an active email account. Better yet, why not change your Facebook email address to one you use on a regular basis? This way, you won’t miss a potentially career-changing message.
Under “Contact Information” you also have the option of including a website or websites. If you have a personal website or blog, you may want to include it, as well as your company’s website.
The section called “Details About You” is the place to include a brief summary of your background.
As you update each section of your Facebook profile, check the settings. You have the option of making any or all of these settings public, which you may want to do, especially if you’re looking for a job.
Although Facebook friends, and friends of friends, may pass along job openings, your odds of hearing about opportunities increase if your basic profile, including contact information, is public. Why? Recruiters also use Facebook — according to Jobvite, 65 percent of recruiters actively use the social network when searching for job candidates.
Will they find you?
Paula Santonocito, a business journalist specializing in employment issues, holds a Workforce Career Coach Facilitator (WCCF) certificate and has been awarded the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) designation.