By now you probably know that the photos and comments you post on Facebook could haunt you professionally, but what you might not realize is that Facebook can actually help you in your job search. One of the best ways to gain a competitive edge and secure an interview is to have someone within the organization mention your name to the hiring manager. Facebook is a platform for doing just that. Here’s how.
Update your friends.
Let your friends know that you are looking for a job. Begin by posting a status update. On his blog TheJobBored, Brian McCullough says to be specific about the type of position you are seeking and which geographical areas you are targeting. (Example status: Looking for a marketing position with a Fortune 500 company in Ohio.) Identify the organizations or positions that interest you, and ask your friends if they know anyone who might help you. (Example status: Applied at Procter & Gamble today. Does anyone know somebody who works there?) Follow up with any contacts they provide and introduce yourself.
Join the professional community.
Search for groups and pages that align with your interests. For example, follow the alumni group of your alma mater and post on its wall to ask for job leads or introductions. Learn more about current trends and industry buzz words through professional associations. Post a comment or share a professional article that you are reading. Your fraternity or sorority might also connect you with business executives who can endorse your application or notify you of any positions before they are advertised. These activities will strengthen your personal brand, showcase your expertise, increase your visibility and connect you with job leads.
Like employers’ pages.
Once you have identified your target organizations, find them on Facebook. In a recent survey conducted by Jobvite, 80% of the employers who responded stated that they use social media to recruit candidates, and another 9% plan on doing so in the future. If you are looking for an example of how employers are using Facebook, check out Ernst & Young. The company uses it to share information about the hiring process and its current openings. Following organizations often puts you in direct contact with recruiters. Monitor their updates to gain insider information that will give you an advantage during an interview and help you assess your potential satisfaction with their corporate culture.
Utilize Facebook applications.
If the thought of using your Facebook profile in your job search induces anxiety, some applications and other website features permit you to connect with others without ever sharing your personal information.
•Search for positions, track your application and identify which of your friends are connected to the organizations that interest you through BranchOut. Once you have discovered these connections, you can introduce yourself and share your best pitch.
•SimplyHired also has a feature on its own website that helps you identify the degrees of separation between you and a professional contact. The site will also recommend jobs based upon your previous job titles and Facebook interests.
•BeKnown was designed by Monster.com. It is similar to LinkedIn in that it helps you publish portions of your resume, obtain endorsements, track the number of companies you follow and use a “badge” to highlight your accomplishments.
•Facebook Marketplace also has a jobs section that permits you to connect directly with recruiters and identify mutual connections.
Learn more about other Facebook applications.
Place a Facebook ad and go public.
If you want to target a specific employer more aggressively, Jorgen Sundberg, found of Undercover Recruiter, and Willy Franzen, creator of One Day One Job, encourage you to create a Facebook advertisement. If you elect to do this, carefully define your demographics to ensure that the right people are clicking the ad and viewing your profile.
You may also want to make portions of your profile public. Facebook Friend Lists will permit you to limit the access of your professional friends to your employment history, contact information and education. You could also create a separate professional page. Whichever method you use, be sure to outline your qualifications and career objective. You can also upload your resume through Google Docs or Box.net and include an RSS feed if you have a professional blog. Slideshare, YouTube and online vendors, such as iWebfolio, make it easy to showcase your professional presentations, publications and portfolio.
Even if you use Friend Lists, however, don’t get too comfortable. Keep it professional and don’t publish anything that you wouldn’t share during an interview, such as your religious preferences, political affiliations and relationship status. If you use your common sense, you can have the best of both worlds: a personal outlet to connect with friends and an effective marketing message that will help you achieve your goals. Good luck!
Powered by Facebook Comments