Yes, all the hype is around Twitter and LinkedIn over the best ways to find a new job these days. But, I still think that Facebook is highly underutilized in the job search. And with the Facebook community being the 3rd largest country in the world, why not look to start here instead?
Logging into Facebook and typing the word “careers” into the search box will bring back 1,700 fan pages. What a great place to begin searching! You are able to search through companies or job types, really anything at all. You could do research on companies, see other fans (most of whom are likely current or former employees), and check out which corporate networks these people belong to. The possibilities are endless here!
In addition to just browsing, you can interact by posting questions. You can get specific and ask about specific positions at a company, or pose questions to fans/employees about the company in general. Maybe ask a smart job seeker question that shows you have already done some research on the company and that you are familiar with what they do. This is a great time to highlight your area of interest. This can really help you to get a foot in the door, so when you get in touch with someone later on, it’s not like a cold call.
Companies have invested lots of time and manpower into their social media efforts, and they want to see them pay off! That means if you apply through a non-traditional source ( not the mainstream job boards,and corporate websites), you may receive increased interest or faster follow-up as a result. Even if you are directed to the corporate website application after initially getting in touch through Facebook, at least someone will have seen your name, contacted you, and will know that you are seriously interested.
Also, if you have friends that work at a business you are interested in, maybe post something on their wall or send them a message asking about the company and how they recommend you get in contact. This will also be a great way for you to make reference in an upcoming interview. The more savvy you are on a site like Facebook the more a company will look at your background. LinkedIn (or just getting on the phone, if you are comfortable doing so) can be useful for this as well.
Something important to keep in mind: if you intend to use Facebook for professional purposes, make sure your profile is squeaky clean! I’ve said this many times, and will say it many more, because it is so critically important. Even if you don’t plan to use Facebook for business/job search, still be mindful of what you post and what is posted about you.
As users and job seekers expand their online presence, companies and recruiters are doing the same to go where you are and work to expand their corporate branding. If you, a job seeker, play into their hand and give them a bit of an ego boost, your social media efforts will be working very well in your favor already.
Have you used Facebook as a job aid yet? Any interviews gained or other success stories? Would love to hear how you are making out.
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Keith McIlvaine is a Social Media Strategist within HR and Recruiting for a Fortune 500 company. When he is not focused on leveraging social media and networking, Keith is also a personal branding coach, social media mentor and speaker at social media conferences. Connect with Keith on Twitter and LinkedIn. The statements I have posted on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.