In Part 1 we discussed some of the online tools job seekers can use to maximize job search results. In this article we will focus on ways to ensure your Facebook presence is aligned with your job search objectives.
The instructions in this post will help you determine your level of vulnerability on Facebook.
Facebook instructions updated 24 July 2011
Go to your Facebook home page. From the menu at the top right of the screen, click on the down arrow next to the word Account and select Privacy Settings. The next screen will present several areas for your review – at some point you should investigate them all but for the moment we will only look at Apps and Websites at the bottom of the screen. Click on Edit your settings and a new page will open. This page is called Choose Your Privacy Settings > Apps, Games and websites.
Unless you have taken the time to create some restrictions on this page, foreign applications (that means programs that run on Facebook but have not been created by Facebook) will be granted access to all of your most personal information as soon as any of your friends select one of these applications. Sound far fetched? Chances are good that you have already engaged one or more of these applications yourself. Click on Edit Settings and you are finally at the place where you can examine and edit the privacy settings of each app.
You may be thinking “I would never post a compromising picture or story about myself so I don’t need to worry about this.” Think again. Can you confidently say that about every friend connection you have? Unless we engage the privacy settings we are all as vulnerable as the most indiscrete member of our friends group. Ever notice all the digital and cell phone photos being taken at parties and outings lately? Many of these end up on Facebook. You may be tagged by name and not even know it. One picture of you pretending to drink out of a bottle of Jack Daniels is all it takes to impact your personal brand. If you’re looking for work at a financial institution or other conservative organization, this is bad press and could be sufficient for you to be passed up in a competitive job market.
So take a look. Set your privacy settings according to your desired level of risk. Google your name. Start actively managing your online presence so that it becomes a positive force in securing your next career opportunity.