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Facebook is really great for making fun of Charlie Sheen and annoying your friends with PetVille requests. But it's also a very good place to network for a new job. I was recently interviewed for an article by Alina Dizik posted on the MSN Careers/careerbuilder web site entitled Can Facebook really help you land a Job. As usual, I gave the interviewer far more material than she could possibly use in one post. So I asked if I could post the rest to my blog, and got a big okay.
What should you have on your profile if you’re looking for opportunities?
The information page of your Facebook profile should always have your employers listed and brief job descriptions. Having this kind of background information helps your network there to connect with you and get to know you better. It will also encourage them to give you business leads since they can easily tell what you do for a living. Also, tell a little bit of a story in the about me section of your profile page that describes your vocation. And post something on your status update occasionally that is work related and lets people know what your skills are and if you are looking for new opportunities or business leads.
What are some FB tools that you should be using?
You should definitely be using Branchout. This is a Facebook app that utilizes the employer data on your info page to populate a social graph of business connections. It tells you who in your Facebook network you know at which companies. It also gives you the option to import you Linkedin profile for deeper networking.You should also import your blog posts into your Facebook profile. There are many apps that do this. If you don't already have a blog, you can actually start one by using the notes section of your FB profile. Write about your area of expertise and let your FB friends know you are knowledgeable in your field.
The process of finding a job on FB seems a lot less formal than through other avenues, can you tell me any success stories?
I have hired many people through Facebook. Many of my customers and job candidates are people who I network with there. It's a great place to give people a better view of your personality than any other social platform. And people want to work with people they like. You can get a good feeling for that in an environment like Facebook.
What are the main things you tell people to do when they are looking for a job and using Facebook?
Be real. FB is a more casual environment than Linkedin for instance. So post things that let people get to know you personally. Then post a few business-type posts that showcase your expertise. Finally, a couple of times a week, remind your network of exactly what you do, and what kind of opportunity you are looking for, and ask for referrals.
Are there any mistakes or misconceptions about this method of job searching?
Yes, many people are very cautious about who they connect with on Facebook, and don't want to mix in business on a platform they consider to be just for friends. But the reality is that you never know where your next lead will come from. Anyone you are friends with could live next door to your future employer and could potentially make an introduction if they know you are looking and what it is that you do. So don't be afraid to grow your network and ask for those referrals. If you keep the "crazy" posts on your page to a minimum (turn off the ability for photos tagged of you to automatically show up on your Facebook wall - see privacy settings), it's a great place to find a job.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
More than 60% of corporate hires come from referrals. Facebook is by far the largest social network available. It has enormous potential to help you get referred to new opportunities. People like to refer people they know, which makes Facebook the perfect referral platform. If you aren't using it to help with your job search, you probably should be.
About the Author:
Craig Fisher is a recruitment consultant, social media strategist and trainer, and serial entrepreneur. He consults with some of the world’s top companies on using social media for sales, marketing, recruiting, employer branding, and talent attraction. He is a featured author and speaker in industry publications and at conference events internationally. Craig created and hosts the original social recruiting forum on Twitter, TalentNet Live (#talentnet), and the TalentNet Live Social Recruiting/HR conferences. Follow Craig on Twitter @fishdogs and @TalentNet.
Posted in:Job Seeker