Professionals looking to stand out on Facebook just might be in luck. A spokesperson for the social network confirmed that it’s currently testing a new option where you can add your professional skills to the work and education section of your Timeline.
The subtle but noteworthy change, discovered by a blog called Sociobits.org, was quietly rolled out some time last week. The new category — which has a feel of familiarity to it a la LinkedIn — appears as an option in a Facebook profile’s About section under the Work and Education heading.
Clicking the edit button near the heading reveals the new category and automatically provides links to Facebook Pages focused on the skills entered. When someone clicks on one of the professional skills, he or she is taken to a new page that shows existing friends and with similar interest in that skill, as well as related Pages and Groups.
Not only could this feature provide additional exposure for Pages related to professional skills, it could also provide easier discovery for employers while making individuals more discoverable through Graph Search. This, of course, is assuming the feature leaves the testing phase and is rolled out as a permanent addition to Facebook profiles.
It’s worth noting that LinkedIn has offered this feature for some time, but clicking on those interests won’t let you view others with similar interests. Additionally, LinkedIn Search will only let you look for people, jobs, companies, groups, and universities — not interests. This isn’t a deal-breaker for LinkedIn, the two platforms have very different user bases.
However, this could be a sign that Facebook is getting more aggressive in its efforts to enter the online recruiting and job search market. It’ll be interesting to watch, and should provide LinkedIn with a bit of healthy competition over the professional market.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.