Using Facebook Strategically for Job Search
This past weekend, I was at a teach-in at MIT, for the Institute of Career Transitions, where volunteer as a board member. We were planning future boot camps and webinars for job seekers, and my committee was working on LinkedIn, social media and personal branding. We talked a lot about the use of LinkedIn in a job search, but really did not focus on Facebook.
In my past blogs and presentations, I have shared many ways that job seekers can use LinkedIn for their job search, and focused little attention to Facebook, with the exception on recommending privacy settings. Yet, I have been hearing many stories of people who have found jobs or key connections that have led to jobs through Facebook. A recent poll from Jobvite.com had indicated that 83% of job seekers use Facebook for their job search, while 36% use LinkedIn. Employers pay attention to these figures when sourcing for candidates. Additionally, Facebook has nearly five times as many members as LinkedIn. So while LinkedIn should always be a key tool in a job seeker’s toolbox, Facebook deserves a place in the toolbox as well.
Here are 7 ways that you can use Facebook in your job search toolbox.
- Fill out your profile – Include professional history on your Facebook profile. I think of LinkedIn as my online resume/professional profile, but why not share this with your Facebook friends too. To do this, click on the “edit profile” link, and add your work history. You can add past positions, descriptions and accomplishments.
- Create a Fan page – As more and more recruiters admit to looking up potential candidate’s Facebook profile, why not create a fan page for yourself. You will first need a personal Facebook account to do this. Once you have your personal account, why note create a professional page for yourself. By asking your friends to like the page, it will come up higher in search results on Google. Include status updates on networking events you attend, blogs you write or have discovered on in your industry, and other professional updates.
- Use your Fan page to like key companies – Companies pay attention where job seekers are looking, and are now posting jobs to their Facebook pages. Use your fan page to like and follow they companies, and engage, by writing thoughtful comments to posts, and “Liking” status updates.
- Seek referrals – Most jobs come from referrals, as employers see referrals as vetted candidates. Why not ask your network for referrals. Let your friends on Facebook know you are looking for a particular position or a contact at a particular company. When ever I am applying for a position, I ask my friends on Facebook if they have a connection. A few times, I have received key connections, which have led to interviews.
- Classify your friends – This will take time, but it is well worth the effort. Hover your cursor over the “Friend” link, and you will see a roster of choices, including the option to create a new list. Create on list called “Professional.” Then classify all friends at are professional contacts and classify them accordingly. By doing this, you can target status updates to friends and others to professional contacts.
- Promote your personal brand – You can do this not only by creating a Fan page, but by including a link to your Fan page on your LinkedIn page, to your email signature and Twitter account and other social media pages.
- Engage with your friends – Respond and post comments on your friend’s status updates, as well as update your status with fun posts. This can be done simply “Liking” your friend’s posts, and writing short, sincere comments. Engaging your network when you are in need, will result in your friends feeling you only contact them when you want something. Aim for 75% fun on Facebook, and 25% professional.
This is by no means and exhaustive list of how people can use Facebook for their job search. Everyday, news articles are published on the subject. Please share with me stories of how you have used Facebook for your job search.
P.S. Please “Like” my Fan Page.