At this writing, Facebook has 845 million monthly active members. It is fast becoming a strategy many are using in their job searches; it is not just reporting what you had for lunch or socializing with friends. When you think about it, “socializing” is a cousin to networking. The rapid exchange of information that Facebook allows has wonderful ramifications for the job seeker. In fact, LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites have dramatically changed the job search landscape. It’s interesting too, that it’s coming from both sides of the fence. An increasing number of recruiters, human resource professionals and company hiring authorities are using Facebook to find talent. Here are five ways you might use Facebook to enhance your search. I’m assuming here that you have no reservations about letting your search be known. If you are covertly searching, be cautious.
Manage your profile
Upload a photo of you onto your profile that looks professional. Well groomed, tidy hair, a big, natural smile. Assume that potential employers or network contacts will see you. Remove anything that distracts from your professional image. Review your “about” and other sections. Edit so that you come across as that professional someone would want to hire. Books you’re reading, causes and volunteer work, schools and experiences. And don’t forget to insert your branding. What are you known for? What sets you apart? What’s your passion, as related to what aligns with your work? Update your profile regularly to reflect your job search status. A bit like customizing your resume.
You can join groups in Facebook just as you can on LinkedIn. Look for those groups of folks in your field or industry. There are thousands of different groups; some career fields have multiple Facebook groups. My client Dan used this to land a position. He joined a project management group in manufacturing. Then he was able to identify a company recruiting project managers. He found out who the hiring manager was. He found a mutual Facebook friend. With a little inside messaging, he was able to connect with that manager via email and phone; and that led to the interview (and job).
Share with your network. Be ready to “talk” about your expertise, knowledge and passion with your network. Modify your positioning statement Facebook style. Let them know what you want and why you’re a great candidate. If you’re actively looking and not concerned about a current employer or colleagues seeing your posts, write about what you want on your profile page’s wall. And take sharing to a level beyond what you want. Go beyond being the “like” buddy. Engage with those in your Facebook network. Share things of interest to them; have real conversations.
Facebook allows you to set up an ad campaign. You can put a short ad together and link it to your bio. Then you are able to pick the demographics you want to target and your maximum spend per day. The minimum is $1. Plan the ad carefully and strategically so that you are as specific as possible to having the right people clicking through as you pay per click. It’s another way to reach out and tell folks who you are and what you want.
My client, Pam posted hers with success. She designed her ad using her LinkedIn “vanity” public profile link as the ad’s destination URL, which gives the option of advertising something on Facebook. In the “Title” field, she put “Widget Company’s New Talent Find?” Then in the text body, simply, “I would love to work for Widget Company. Can you help me?” The resulting ad showed the title in bold and below that, her photo (from LinkedIn), followed by the text. Then she was the first to like it of course! I am not guaranteeing an ad will get you hired or even noticed by your target audience. But it might! And it reinforces your goals and brand!
Use job search apps
Facebook has some wonderful capabilities for job search with its apps. Some that clients have used or have been mentioned by colleagues include BranchOut, BeKnown, Hire My Friend, IngBoo (Facebook app), CareerBuilder Facebook App, and Inside Job. I’ll share more about these and others in future posts.
Have you used Facebook to enhance your job search? I’d love to hear from you!