By Shawn McGowan, JobsInME.com
Even though I've filtered and pared down my "Friends" list, I've still got nearly 700 Facebook friends. Since everyone I've ever known from school, college, work and extended family is now on the grid, I have a lot of people in my Facebook news feed and they post a lot of updates. I also follow many fan pages featuring companies, products and public figures. All this adds up and makes for a lot of noise in my news feed.
To answer this conundrum, Facebook has devised a filter to show us updates from sources we engage with the most via its EdgeRank algorithm, which decides which updates appear in each user's Facebook news feed. Though it does a decent job of recommending posts based on my activity, I still feel like I'm missing things. In an effort to fix this, I've done some housekeeping, making adjustments to ensure important information is more readily available in the sea of links and updates from my network.
Here are the tools I used and some insight that may help you with your job search:
Create a custom friends list for your professional/business contacts that you want to keep in close contact with regarding your job search. These could be key friends, family and acquaintances you have connected with that work at companies you're interested in working for.
You can do this by clicking on "More" next to the Friends heading in the left column on your Facebook home page. Don't worry, your friends that you add to the list won't be notified that you added them. When finished, add the list to favorites so it appears at the top of your home page and doesn't get hidden; you want to remember to check it often!
Create a custom interest list and add Facebook fan pages of local businesses and career resources you want to keep up with. This list functions just like the friends list above, only it will create a custom news feed populated with career-related updates from the Facebook pages you choose. Business pages will often mention their latest openings and post about relevant news worth mentioning in an interview.
By clicking on "More" next to the Interests heading in the left column of your Facebook home page, chose "Add Interests" and click the "Create List" button to begin adding pages to your list. Just remember to set the privacy setting for your list to "Just Me" unless you'd like to share it with friends. I would suggest adding this list to favorites as well so it will be at top-of-mind for you each time you check your Facebook account.
Taking the idea of receiving crucial corporate info one step further, because maybe creating a separate news stream for those most critical Facebook pages isn't enough, and you'd like to receive direct notifications alongside those of your personal contacts, now you can do just that.
Go to a page and hover over the "Liked" button and click on "Get Notifications" option and you will receive notifications each time a new update for that page is posted. Please keep in mind that you probably only want to do this with a select few pages, if any, and make sure they aren't posting every 15 minutes or the notifications can gat overwhelming quickly.
To wrap up, you can increase the visibility of Facebook updates that are most important to you by making some quick customizations. These are just a few ideas on how to mold your Facebook experience to keep you better informed about people and pages critical to your job search.
I'd love to hear if these helped you or any ideas you might have on the topic! Tweet me and let me know!
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As a Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Shawn McGowan's passion for brand transparency and over 10 years of sales/customer service experience make him aptly suited for the job. A native of East Millinocket, Maine, Shawn grew up at the foot of Mount Katahdin and graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). When not writing, editing or immersing himself in the world of social media, he can be found enjoying the outdoors, art, music, tech, humor, Portland's amazing food scene, and all things nerdy. You can reach Shawn at smcgowan (at) JobsInME.com and Twitter.com/shonymac.