For those of you who don’t know (have you been living under a rock?), Facebook is slowly debuting the Timeline to its 800+ million users. Currently, this update is available for those who opt in, but it’s rolling out to replace the Facebook profile we’ve all come to know, love, and obsessively study.
As much as jobs folks like me like to think Facebook users automatically think about their careers when Zuckerberg rolls out a new feature, I’ll admit that it’s not the case. So, I’m here to say the new Timeline profile format has made Facebook more job-search friendly than ever. After all, it’s a resume. That’s right. When you stop and look at it, Facebook’s Timeline is effectively a resume. From the giant cover image at the top to the chronological organization down the line, your Facebook profile is a resume for your life, not just your career.
What Does This Mean?
In recent years, it’s pretty common knowledge that an increasing number of employers are turning to the likes of Google and social media to learn more about applicants and current employees. Once Timeline goes 100% live, expect this number to explode.
Until now, the Facebook profile has provided a current slice of a user’s life. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty details or look a week, month, or year into the past, it takes some searching and clicking. With Timeline, employers can learn more about users by searching specific time frames and seeing how the details mesh together.
Ultimately, Facebook is going to become the go-to site for more curious employers and clients. Personalized and manicured Timelines are simply going to be more attractive.
How Can I Use This To My Advantage?
Don’t spaz. Fortunately, the Timeline makes presentation easy for those of use who aren’t as Facebook-savvy as we’d like. Privacy settings will remain the same, posts will fall into place, and you’ll find that mixed media fits into a pretty snazzy arrangement.
Check the locks. It’s true that no privacy settings are going to be changed. However, those dorky status updates you wrote in 2006 are going to be a whole lot more accessible on your Timeline. Facebook gives you seven days to review the new format before your Timeline goes live, so do your due diligence now.
Pick your crowd. Along with overall privacy settings, your Timeline is going to work a whole lot better if you refine your audiences. Organize your business contacts into a list so that they’re the only ones who can see your industry-specific content. Personalizing your profile to fit the crowd will make your Timeline look so much better.
Customize. One of the most striking differences you’ll find in the Facebook Timeline would have to be the cover photo. It’s smack dab at the top of your profile, so make it nice. Pick something that works for everyone who could possibly see your profile. You already know that picture from the New Year’s party isn’t going to work.
Prioritize. If you’re an active user, then all your content isn’t going to fit on your Timeline. While Facebook automatically guesses what content is important enough to be expanded, it could definitely use your input. Expand the information you think is important so that it can be seen by the right people.
Do you think the Timeline is similar to a resume? How else can it be used in the job search? Let us know what you think in the comments below.