By Joshua Noel | firstname.lastname@example.org
With over 1 billion active users, Facebook is the dominant social media Web site on the Internet. It allows you to keep in touch with friends and family and follow your favorite brands. Since Facebook has a huge list of users, people like employers, school administrators, police, and even your mom and dad have access to your profile. You can limit viewership by setting your profile to private, however anyone on your friends list can still see what you post.
With all eyes on every move you make, it is becoming important to watch what you do. Posting negative comments and photos could potentially hurt your reputation and keep you from getting a job as potential employers can view your profile. If you are interested in representing yourself in a professional manner, and be seen as a respectable individual, follow these 10 tips.
Know Your Audience
It is important to know who you are interacting with and who is seeing your posts on Facebook. In order to know your audience, you must know why you are using Facebook. Will you be using Facebook to be in touch with your friends, to showcase some of your work, or to connect with like-minded individuals? Once you have determined who you want to interact with, then you can make a good decision on how you should use Facebook.
Have a Represent-able Profile Picture
You don’t have to wear a three-piece suit or have high quality photos on your Facebook page. However, there are ways to look professional without going over the top. Dress and act the way you want in your photo that best appeals to your given profession. For example, if you are a photographer, wear clothes that you would wear on a shoot and pose in a way that best represents you.
Don’t Post Incriminating Photos
Yes, we all like to have fun with our friends and hang out. It doesn’t mean you should post photos of all the alcohol that is at the party or a selfie of yourself kissing someone who isn’t your boyfriend or girlfriend. There is nothing wrong with sharing photos with some of your friends, but just keep in mind that everyone on your friends list and possibly potential employers will see your recent pictures.
Don’t Post Unprofessional Statuses
This follows in with posting incriminating photos. Try to stay away from posting profanity or about how terrible of a time you are currently going through. It is nice to vent from time to time, but not everyone wants or needs to see it. Keep your inner thoughts to yourself or talk with a friend in a one-on-one conversation. There is no need to let your negativity out to the world. Even if they don’t say it, some of your friends won’t like it, and definitely your boss won’t like it.
Don’t Share Unprofessional Posts
There is nothing wrong with sharing a cat video or an interesting blog post. However, when you share a post, you also share the details of that post such as the name of the page or person and the description of the post. Sometimes there might be profanity or a negative comment within that context. So keep an eye out for something that might not appeal to your friends list.
Fill in Professional Details
Facebook has quite a few fields that allow you to showcase your professional skills and past accomplishments. Take advantage of what Facebook has to offer when it comes to representing yourself. Show where you have worked and where you have gone to school. You can enter quotes and details about yourself. You might not think people will ever look that far into your Facebook page, but just keep in mind that some people do.
Never Comment About Work
It is wise to avoid commenting and posting about work. Definitely refrain from posting negatively about your job. You don’t want your boss to ask you to come to their office on the next day of work to talk about your post. Even if you do not think your employer looks at Facebook, avoid posting negatively. You are supposed to represent the company you are working for in a positive fashion. Also try to avoid posting things about current projects and future ideas of the company. You could potentially run into legal issues if the information you are posting is confidential.
Use Proper Grammar
It is definitely 100 percent unprofessional to post typos and grammar issues. Avoid using slang and awkward capitalization that you think is cool. Employers never want their employees to misspell words in emails or documents, since you are representing the company. Utilize proper grammar on Facebook and you should be fine.
Change Privacy Settings to Public
This tip is only valuable if you are looking to network. If you’re looking to have people find you and learn more about you, setting your privacy settings to public is a must. You never know who might be looking at your profile. Yes, people like to stalk others, however a potential employer who may have heard of you might take the time to look you up. If you have an appealing profile, you never know what opportunities you may receive.
The best way to grow your network and gain professional connections is to reach out to the right people. If you are okay with adding acquaintances, send them friend requests, instead of waiting for them to send you one. Engage in posts that appear on your newsfeed. Like posts and even comment when appropriate. It is best to build a following of people who will like your posts and comment when you share your content. The more interaction you have with those on your friend’s list, the more circulation your posts will have, and the higher chance you may have of being viewed by other professionals.