Is Facebook Timeline the New Resume?

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Facebook Timeline MobileFacebook Timeline is here. What does this mean for job seekers and general professionals? Will it be the new resume that employers use to evaluate potential employees?

What are the Changes in Facebook Timeline?

The new service makes it much easier to share a wealth of information about yourself. Facebook is now no longer just about moments in time; it represents the whole you. With your Facebook profile page, you are now no longer conveying Twitter-esque ruminations about what you are doing at that moment. With the new Facebook Timeline, you are saying to the world: “This is me.”

Social media sites represent a very unique difficulty for job seekers, and Facebook Timeline will no doubt add complexity. Social media in general presents a way to show yourself to the world and let others know what you are doing. Career sites like this one are full of information about what types of updates you should avoid writing, and how to convey a proper level of professionalism. However, Facebook Timeline throws a monkey wrench into the way job seekers portray themselves in social media.

With Facebook Timeline, users are given much more control about the graphical layout of their page. They can choose what life events to include and bring their own graphics and pictures into the Facebook profile. However, the real difference is that the new Facebook profile emphasizes life events and how you want to be portrayed: static, descriptive items take priority over fleeting status updates. It’s who you are, not what you are doing.

What does that sound like to you? If a job seeker is given the chance to enumerate their professional accomplishments, life events, and goals, isn’t that pretty close to a resume? Isn’t Facebook now more like, that tells the world exactly who you think you are?

When people are given the option to talk about themselves, add pictures, and select what information to include or not include, it can be dangerous. Facebook always was dangerous for job seekers, but now it’s even more precarious.

Tips for job seekers using the new Facebook:

  • Choose cover pictures wisely: Facebook profiles are now a lot like a blog, with the option to create a “cover” for your profile. This picture is a big part of your profile – it’s might be said to be the most important element of your page. Pick the picture wisely – make sure it’s not only something that you don’t mind people seeing, but that it represents an idea or action that you are proud to think or be.
  • Select your privacy options carefully: Facebook privacy options change rapidly, and the introduction of Facebook Timeline will usher in a host of new privacy options. Make sure that you spend the time to go through the privacy options carefully.
  • Choose your likes carefully: Like Ron Paul or RuPaul? Know that your Facebook Likes are on your profile in a prominent manner, with pictures of the entity that you like. If you don’t want employers or other people seeing what you like, don’t like it in the first place. You can also check out your privacy options for options about who sees your likes.
  • Update your professional information: There is a very good chance that you don’t have updated career related information on Facebook. In general, people use Facebook for personal use, so they don’t bother updating job titles and companies. However, the new Facebook Timeline layout does emphasize that static “profile” field, which highlights your current employer and job title. Make sure that your professional fields are up to date and complete.
  • Pick who sees your updates: Make sure that you are using the feature to choose who sees certain updates. If you post a lot of family related updates, you might want to make a list of your family friends and only select this group to see those related updates. Share with the world only that which you are proud for everyone to know about.

Are Facebook Profiles the New Resume?

Employers are increasingly using Facebook and social networks to recruit employees, and this is a trend that will likely continue. Want proof? Just look at all the technology being developed for recruiting with Facebook. It’s becoming more important than ever to have a strong Facebook profile if you’re looking for a job. The new Facebook Timeline layout certainly presents some added challenges for job seekers, but’s it’s also an opportunity to make a great first impression.

Is Facebook Timeline the new resume? Not yet, but the way you portray yourself online is getting more and more important for your career. The new Facebook profile system gives you an unprecedented amount of control over that identity, and with that control comes more opportunity to differentiate yourself. Just make sure that you are conveying the you that really are, or perhaps the you that you want to be. Good luck out there!

Read more in Social Media Resume

Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.