• Social Media Training Guides: Editing the “About” Section on Facebook

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    September 18, 2013

    NACE recently introduced a series of "train the trainer" guides for career services practitioners to use to help college students use different social media effectively in their job searches. Following is an excerpt of the "Career Counselor's Guide to Facebook" by Kevin Grubb, an assistant director at the career center of Villanova University; Shannon Kelly, associate director of career services at the University of Pennsylvania; and Megan Wolleben, assistant director at the Bucknell University Career Development Center. The "Career Counselor's Guides to Social Media in the Job Search" are available at www.naceweb.org/knowledge/social-media/career-counselors-guide.aspx.

    The "About" section of a Facebook user's profile is where a student can enter things like work and educational experience, a bio, website, links to other social networks, and much more. The "About" section has similarities to a LinkedIn Profile, but Facebook's fields allow for information like "favorite quotations," and can even include a user's interests in books, movies, music, and TV shows. There are many options with Facebook profiles and students can take advantage of all of them. However, for professional purposes, there are some sections-"Work and Education," "About You," and "Contact Information"-that matter more than others.

    • Work and Education—As with any intended professional presence online, students will benefit the most from putting career-related information into their profiles on Facebook. Here, students can include their work experience and educational institutions attended. Including titles, keywords, and descriptions of experience could all be valuable here, so when others land on the student's profile, the visitor can determine skills and experiences that may be relevant to an internship or job. In addition, when a user adds schools and employers, Facebook will be able to recommend connections, groups, and more based on those institutions. This can help a student build a community on Facebook.
    • About You—This area of a profile is an open space for students to write about themselves. Encourage students to consider this a place to talk about what they have accomplished and where they'd like to go in the future. This section could be considered similarly to a LinkedIn summary, though it would be important to remember that Facebook is not solely a professional network like LinkedIn. Keeping in mind the audience and their state of mind is important for good social networking use.
    • Contact Information—In this section, every Facebook user will have a Facebook e-mail address displayed, which simply forwards to the e-mail account Facebook has on record for a created profile. Students could also consider including links to blogs, other social media accounts, or even a personal website here.

    NACE's "Career Counselor's Guides to Social Media in the Job Search" are available at www.naceweb.org/knowledge/social-media/career-counselors-guide.aspx.