Here, a career minded users guide to Facebook Clean-Up, and how make a few changes and updates ahead of applying for jobs.
We expect to add to this post as time moves on. Facebook does change its UX frequently. If you would like to be alerted to updates, simply join CareerNet Nation and opt in for notifications.
We also learned that nobody really teaches you how to clean up your facebook profile. We make suggestions in this article, but will provide a future article on facebook profiles that are both fun and professional.
This article is Part 2 in a Series. To see the other related articles click here.
Facebook at CareerNet
CareerNet Staff are required to update or amend their Facebook accounts every quarter. Things change, our mission evolves. Individual roles and responsibilities change with our business and industry dynamics. On a personal level, and as it applies to the new Career Minded you, we think it is a good idea to clean-up your Facebook account at least 2x annually.
This will have the effect of keeping you relevant to your followers, which if you have been reading our Career Branding posts, is crucial for managing your public facing career focused profile.
Here a few steps and considerations – some may be emotionally difficult, we understand.
Remember, this is about the new career focused you. Here, in suggested action order, the 6 steps our staff take semi-annually. We offer them to you.
Six Steps to Facebook Clean-up
Step 1 – Clean your Friend “house”.
This can be difficult. How to clean up your facebook friends list? The simple answer is Just Start.
Facebook may not be happy with us here and for that we apologize (not really). You have too many friends, and the friends you have are not all “Career Appropriate”. That old saying, “Want to know someone’s character? Look at the friends they keep.”
We are certain you are the angel among your friends. Life can be more fun with the wild and often popular party animal in your friend group and therefor in your feed. Reposting or recommending their posts may have brought you more “friends“. But, and it’s a big but, someone thinking about hiring you may use your Facebook profile as their own check point. You know what they find?
The posts your party animal friend took at that questionable summer pool party you didn’t attend. And it’s right in your feed. See the point?
So clean house, remove friends who do not fit your updated career minded profile.
Politically charged posts in your feed? Not good.
Misogynist or sexist posts? Not good.
Racially charged? Really really not good.
Luxury lifestyle vacation pictures? Not good either.
We know, you didn’t post them and you certainly did not comment on them.
However, that professional who is thinking about hiring you is well within their rights to consider these individual people you call “friends”.
Step 2 – Remove “friends” not relevant to your Career Profile
For many this is the most difficult part of the entire process. That means Unfriending them or in the least unfollowing them.
Here’s how: From your Facebook home page go to Friends > All Friends > then on each friend listed you think may not be showing you in your best light, click the 3 dots icon and select the “Unfollow” or “Unfriend” option.
Step 3 – Update Your Profile Picture.
It’s Facebook. You thought there was a difference between Facebook and LinkedIn? There is, but not to people looking to hire you. Your favorite bro picture or glam shot headlining your Facebook profile needs to be updated.
And no ball caps or sunglasses in your profile picture. Raised hoodies won’t help your cause either.
Now, we are not suggesting you hire a professional portrait photographer. Your selfie camera is good enough. Comb your hair. Wash your face. Minimize sparkle makeup. Choose a solid color shirt/blouse. Find a reasonable background. Smile. Snap a few pictures. Then upload to your profile.
Not only will this improve your career brand but after completing Step 1., your remaining followers will be notified that you are staying relevant and maturing with a new profile picture. Neither one is a bad thing.
Step 4 – Attack that “About” Section.
Facebook made this part very easy. Our main recommendations when filling out the about section are 2:
- Be Honest and complete at least the following sections: Overview, Work and Education, Details About You.
The first two are generally self-explanatory. The last one, Details About You, requires a little effort. In the Detail About You section there is a subsection titled “About You”. Here are examples of what not to write:
“Fuelled by caffeine, sarcasm and class.”
“If I don’t respond to your posts, take a hint.”
“If you are reading this deep into my profile, that’s creepy.”
Here are examples of what to write:
“Currently focused on the 3 F’s – Future, Friends, Fitness”
“Working Hard on Self Improvement Monday – Friday, relaxing with friends and family on the weekends.”
“If I’m not at work, I’m chasing my kids.”
Step 5 – Photos
Your photo collection, at this point you know what to do. Keep the photos that show you in the best corporate light. With friends doing things other than bar hopping. Places you have visited. Holidays with families. Yes, this may seem boring, but after you are hired you will have plenty of time to let off steam however you do that.
Take pictures of those times if you like, just don’t post them to your social media accounts. ’nuff said.
While you are at it, you may want to untag a few people in your pictures who may not share your newfound career focus.
Step 6 – This is the Big One – remove your own posts that may need removing.
This is easier than you may think, which is good because it is in many ways the most important step. Here is how:
Simply go to “Posts” under your profile picture and click on it. Next scroll through your posts. When you find one you know should not be in your feed, click on the three horizontal dots in the upper right corner of the post and then “Move to Trash”.
Which posts should be moved to trash?
That is an easy one. Any post you know should not be there and any post you are not sure about. If you are not sure whether to delete it or not, you have your answer. Delete it.
Move to Trash.
Important! Facebook clean up can take time, but it’s worth it!
We agree, a Facebook profile update or profile reboot can be a long project. But the effort is worth it.
Increasingly, the first social media search a company will conduct on you is your Facebook account. We add only this, making your account private is only a temporary solution and still may require a profile picture update. We recommend you make your Facebook page private only if you have applied for jobs and do not have the time to clean it up until the weekend.
Private accounts only invite questions like, “Why is your Facebook account private?”. If you are asked this question, we suggest honesty. Say, “I’m in the process of cleaning it up in support of my new focus which is employment with a company I am excited to work for.” That will buy you 24 hours or less. So, get to work.
The CareerNet Staff