Facebook profiles are changing the look, lay-out and feel. From a recruiting or job hunting point of view, theres a few changes that I think will make a big difference. I updated mine and it took about 2 minutes.
Unlike past facebook changes, its opt in rather than automatic and there are no plans to enforce the new profile. Once you change your profile however, there is no reverting back if you don’t like it.
Another difference with this facebook change as oposed to the ones in the past, is the addition of a change wizard that shows you what the changes mean and what your info will look like.
In the old style profile, profesional details like employer, education etc was hidden behind the info tab on the second section of your profile. This has now been moved to a prominent position under your picture.
Only about a third of users completed these details, which became apparent when you used an application like Branch Out. Giving more prominense to this detail by placing it at the top of the profile will mean a lot more people complete it. Great for Recruiters!
Underneath your name, you get links to current employer (you can link your fan page to this), education by establishment and qualifications, location, who you are in a relationship with and languages spoken. this makes matching decisions when sourcing much quiker and easier.
The info tab (now located on the left under your profile picture), opens with Employers and experience, forming a mini-resume, with links by employer to associated community pages, followed by eduction and qualifications.I don’t think this will completely take over from linked In, but given the growth of the channel and changing attitudes to Facebook purpose, it will certainly become an important professional reference point.
The addition of a projects field under experience gives a good opportunity to showcase skills and experience. I think we will be seeing lots more professional information, and this in turn will break down a lot of the reluctance of many to see Facebook as anything other than a friends channel.
Next down is philosophies, drawn from your favourite quotes, sports, arts, activities and interests etc taken from the fan pages you like and the headings you choose to add. (You can hide any off the list or remove these sections all together by clicking on edit if they don’t sit with the image you want your profile to portray.)
Next comes the basic information. I see this forming a personal or professional statement where you can add information about you. A bit like a professional headline, and then a contact section for all the contact details you want to add.
It is worth remembering that your phone numbers get copied to a Facebook phone book unless you opt out of this option. If you are worried about including personal numbers, Skype or google call give you good alternatives. my view is that this is going to make contacting potential candidates much easier, with less of a need for hunting around for numbers.
One other important change is that as soon as anyone visits your profile, just under your name they get a montage of photos you have been tagged in or posted in date order. You can remove any of these from view just by clicking on them, but it is another good reason for checking your profile regularly as it is dynamic and you don’t control it.
The last big change worth noting is how your friends lists appear. They now appear as photos in neat boxes. you can change the order by groups that they appear or hide some of them. A good way to separate professional and personal contacts to shield them from unwanted contacts.
The sidebar also allows you to display family connections and colleagues making the whole page neater and easier to navigate. An indication of a big family/friends list will also give you some insight in to how a user is using the channel, important when you are considering an approach.
Lastly you can add badges and a like button. badges are a great way to promote your fan page, blog or event.
One other very cool feature related to your profile is that when you look at another profile, you get a match on things you have in common, from shared friends, interests or experience, a great connection starter. You can activate this by turning on the friendships page.
Personally, I like what Facebook have done to the profiles. I’ve no doubt the traditionalists will see it as a further encroachment on to their personal space and there will be some kick back, but for recruiters and job seekers it will make the channel much more effective.
What are your views?
We will be talking Facebook at length at #trulondon in Feb, and any thoughts you have will be incorporated in the conversation. keep being ambassadors for great recruiting,
My New Look Facebook Profile (work in progress)