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Facebook quietly adds “professional skills” to profiles

Facebook adds LinkedIn-esque feature, making it possible to find new employees, or check up on current ones with a few clicks.

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Facebook and employment

Facebook is probably not the first place you turn, when you think about new hires, or anything employment related really, but that is changing. This week, as first discovered by Sociobits, Facebook quietly added a new section to users’ profiles entitled: “professional skills.”

You can find this new gem under the “about” section of your profile. Then, click “edit” under “work and education.” Now, you can start typing in skills. However, this is not just a box to enter your skills and impress your friends. Once you have entered skills, they become very much like LinkedIn: you are connected to other people who have your same skills, only via Facebook pages. This allows employers to see what qualifications a candidate possesses. And once a professional skill is tagged, the user’s profile becomes effortlessly accessible through a “graph search.”

What does this really mean for you and your business?

You need to add a skill set to your own Facebook page to ensure that you are connected with the right people. It is important to do more than just add the skills in to the box; you should be using these new connections to their full potential. You can use these skills for fact checking, recruitment, and retention.

For example, if you are connected to existing employees and their skill set does not even resemble the job they do for you, this could signal you are about to lose a member of your team. By the same token, this is a great way to find a freelancer or new employee.

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You can add and remove skills as necessary, making this a very useful way to find people. However, you could also get users who use this new feature for entertainment purposes. Soon you will see “Final Cut proficient” with “gangnam style master.”

It should also be noted that Facebook savvy users, or users who simply enjoy their privacy, can turn this feature from the default “public” setting, to “private.” This, of course assumes they want to, and since most people come to Facebook to share, I would imagine the majority of users will leave the setting “public.”

And this could be the biggest hurdle to this new feature: mixing your personal life with your professional life. Is it a bad idea? Or is it becoming necessary to remain a part of the competitive job market? I think only time will tell.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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