How To Turn Facebook Into A Virtual Resume

Facebook has changed it up again; Facebook Timeline has been launched and the response has been well received. It’s an entirely new way to look at social media profiles and the change works in your favour. For the first time you can go back and edit your past activity on Facebook by adding life events and status updates. This means you can go back to your birth and recreate your life on social media, filling in the gaps for your friends.

This is incredibly beneficial for job seekers. There are over 800 million active people on Facebook and one of your friends may be the connection to your next job lead. Are you ready? Besides posting that you are looking for work in your status updates, you can make the most of Facebook’s current functionality by making these updates to your profile.

Edit Your About Page

There are many different boxes on your About page. Focus on updating the following:

Work & Education: Add your work experience and use the Add a Project link to describe different areas of your job. This works great for people who have eclectic job descriptions with multiple roles or those who have moved up the ladder in different positions at the same company. This is also great for the self-employed person who wants to show multiple projects and their timelines. Unlike a resume that needs to be targeted to a specific job, your Facebook About page can list all of your work and volunteer experience. This creates a complete picture for those perusing your background. Although you can list everything, try to be clear about what you accomplished through each experience. You only have about 80 characters in your description before it is cut off with the Read More link so be concise and say the most important statement first, also keep it in first person. Add your education, classes, and training and who you took them with. You can also add a description of your honours and accomplishments through each training.

About You: This is a great place to add a short bio on who you are and what you are all about. If you are currently seeking employment you can mention what type of work you are looking for and how you will benefit the companies that hire you.

Contact Information: Add links to your relevant contact information such as email, website, blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook page, and anywhere else you would like them to find out more about you. Put the most important links first.

Basic Info: No one wants to be discriminated against because of their sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, place of origin, ancestry, place of origin, religion, political views, family status, physical or mental disability. These are basic human rights that employers may use to disqualify you for a job. You should consider censoring this information in your Basic Info and Timeline by not listing it or adjusting your privacy settings.

Edit your Timeline

Remove Content: Start by removing questionable content, including status updates, notes, photos, groups, apps, and pages that could paint a poor picture of who you are to a prospective employer.  Although you had a lot of fun at that party, content about how hungover you were the next day are not going to help you find a job.

Add Life Events: Start building your timeline by adding in your life events that you want to share. Currently Facebook includes options to add: work & education, family & relationships, home & living, health & wellness, and travel & experience. You can add photos to each life event and a short story to complement it.

Add Status Updates: You’ve always been able to delete status updates, but now you can add status updates. This is extremely useful for painting a picture of your important life moments and accomplishments before Facebook.

Edit Privacy Settings: Edit your privacy settings to limit who can view your more personal information. Remember to do this for your status updates as well as your Timeline life events.

Facebook’s new functionality has made it easier than ever for job seekers to put together their best social media profile. Visit help pages for tutorials on how to do these tasks or leave a comment below with any questions.

This article was written by Miranda Vande Kuyt a self-employed career development practitioner and communications consultant.

  1. #1 by Mike DeSousa on January 4, 2012 - 3:59 am

    Timely article, Miranda 🙂 Excellent points that you make. FB Timeline presents a few challenges for jobseekers. Points to consider:
    a) Someone with several resume gaps that may provoke suspicion will need to think about how to structure his/her entire FB timeline
    b) Creating a Facebook timeline can easily work against older workers or ones who are over-qualified; older/over-qualified jobseekers will
    feel that they will need to choose between keeping all their experience for the benefit of “online connections” OR losing
    said connections/experience that will date them or highlight parts of their life that “water down” their Personal Brand
    c) FB timeline, once it starts to predominate, may make it easier for employers/recruiters/HR to screen jobseekers out
    d) Employers/Recruiters/HR will match up people’s timeline with their Branchout recommendations through Facebook — similar to
    LinkedIn, so watch your timeline very carefully…and if you make any changes, quadruple check your timeline and get a friend with
    great editing skills to do the same.
    e) Consequently, more jobseekers will add in the Facebook Branchout app to use it as a Twitterized version of LinkedIn — I would not be
    surprised if the advent of Timeline will make the Facebook Branchout app “take off” in 2012.

    Will be interesting to see how this affects LinkedIn’s market share, and more importantly in my opinion, how G+ will respond — if they do (though they are still picking up critical mass); it would be really nice if they added in their version of “Recommendations” 🙂

    Funny how a new twist on current technology brings up old concerns in a similar, yet different, manner.
    Mike (under construction in Jan. 2011).

    • #2 by Miranda Vande Kuyt on January 4, 2012 - 5:36 am

      Thanks for bringing up these points Mike. You bring up some valid concerns that job seekers should consider while creating their Timeline. I agree with your last point, these are old concerns for job seekers that have been virtually magnified. It’s an issue of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”; individuals will have to weigh both sides of the Facebook debate and make choices accordingly. My stance is if you are on Facebook you need to make sure the information you are presenting is accurate and strategically posted.

      Thanks for your insights,


  2. #3 by Anthony McAvaney on January 9, 2012 - 11:13 pm

    Hi Miranda, a thought provoking article indeed. My first reaction to using the timeline was that it would be difficult to make your virtual resume a targeted piece of writing which is so important in resume preparation. But, thinking it over there’s no reason why you couldn’t let friends know what type of work you are seeking and then target the work/education you include in the timeline accordingly. The only other issue I can think of would be the privacy settings and being aware of limitations you might set in terms of the audience for timeline.

    Thanks again for posting this….it will be interesting to see how this evolves

    Best wishes
    Anthony –

    • #4 by Miranda Vande Kuyt on January 11, 2012 - 4:45 am

      Thanks for commenting Anthony. Facebook is a hard platform to nail down because it keeps changing. This is definitely the best set up for job seekers that Facebook has had to date. Choosing the right info to represent your skills and knowledge, along with targeting your audience by adjusting your privacy controls, just might help a job seeker to find work. It will be very interesting how Facebook evolves next.



  3. #5 by Lila Pulsford on January 24, 2012 - 5:58 pm

    Have you seen this idea Miranda?

  1. How To Turn Facebook Into A Virtual Resume « THE YOUTH PASTOR'S WIFE
  2. How To Turn Facebook Into A Virtual Resume « THE YOUTH PASTOR'S WIFE

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