The subject of the Facebook profile and its impact on job seekers has been covered extensively in the past few years by companies like CareerBuilder and Monster.

With the emergence of the “business page” or “fan page” feature, businesses are taking advantage of free advertising  by uploading engaging photos, posting interactive status updates and polls, and featuring “Facebook exclusive” coupons and other deals.  A consistently updated, professional business “fan page” draws in current customers and clients, and can also attract many job seekers who may be interested in working for or networking with the company to build professional clout.

While it isn’t acceptable for employers to utilize Facebook as a means to research applicants’ personal lives and base a decision solely on the content of their photo albums, it is important for job seekers to present themselves in a way that they would like to be viewed by employers.  Are you a creative, energetic college grad who is involved in your community? Portray yourself as that person. Be the person on Facebook that you want to be for a future employer.  Then start searching for business pages and “like” away – you just might get noticed, and you will have nothing to hide but your amazing self.

Bottom line? Social networking is priceless and can be extremely valuable for both employers and prospective employees if used resourcefully and responsibly.

Written by S. Snyder / WR, featured in the Business Review, August 2011.