An Intro to Facebook Timeline
It might be time to brush up on your Kierkegaard, because Facebook is about to become very existential. The new profile, called Facebook Timeline, is not concerned with what you are doing. It wants to know who you are. See the dramatic video below for a brief overview, or take a look at this article for a more detailed description of the changes.
As you can see, the most important parts of the profile will be static information, like where you went to school, where you work, what your interests are, and who you have been in a relationship with. The profile tells the world your history, or at least the history of your time on Facebook. These changes will have a big impact on the way people use Facebook, especially in a world where social networking is becoming a large part of the hiring process. So what do job seekers and employers need to know about this new Facebook Timeline?
Practical tips for job seekers:
Facebook Timeline essentially makes your profile an online resume.
So like a resume, try to emphasize your professional accomplishments and good qualities. Don’t just write where you worked, write about what you did while you worked there. Make sure your employment history is up to date.
Familiarize yourself with Facebook’s privacy settings.
The more control you have over your information, the better. Timeline will make it much easier to view a person’s entire Facebook history. Employers don’t need to see pictures of your 21st birthday or politically incorrect wall posts from your freshman year of college. Update your privacy settings so only close friends can see this type of information.
Go back through your history to find flattering posts and pictures to share publicly.
This information will help you present a consistent and positive story about yourself.
Pick a good cover photo.
The new profile has a spot for both a profile pic and large cover photo at the top of the page. This picture will represent you, so choose something that looks nice or shows off your creativity.
The new profile places more emphasis on your Likes.
So avoid liking things that might be considered distasteful or controversial.
Be aware of how you use third-party apps; some may publish a log of your activities.
For example, an app could show which music/movies you’re steaming or what articles you have read.
What employers need to know:
Don’t place too much emphasis on Facebook profiles during the hiring process.
There will be a wealth of information available on Facebook Timeline profiles, but not all of it will be accurate, verifiable or complete. You don’t want to make hiring decisions based on unreliable information.
Be aware of possible legal issues.
Companies that look up protected information like race, religion, or age run the risk of violating anti-discrimination and hiring laws. It might make sense to hire an outside firm for background searches; a third party can provide your company with information useful to the hiring process, but protect you from the data that you’re not supposed to see.