10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Job Search Using Facebook

Facebook has changed dramatically in the past year, and has added significant features to help the job seeker. Please keep in mind, passive job seekers might want to limit some of the more public activities, so their search won’t be apparent to their current employer.

While Facebook started as a social network for kids, it’s grown up on its way to passing 350M members. Facebook’s largest segment is 30+ and there are now more grandparents than students on the world’s largest networking site. Facebook has also surpassed Google as the #1 site to search … for people.

Building a Facebook network can leverage your job search efforts, but only if you build the right network, and learn how to use Facebook as a communication tool.

Here are the 10 most effective ways I’ve found to use Facebook for your job search:

Prepare:

1. Clean up your profile – Start off with effective Online Reputation Management (http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/01/online-reputation-management-4-steps-to.html) and audit your Facebook presence and remove comments or photos you wouldn’t want your Mom or Boss to see. Remove Facebook game applications that may give the impression that you’d play Mafia Wars on company time. Monitor your Facebook profile regularly.
2. Make yourself public – Update your Facebook security settings to make everything on your profile public. This helps employers and recruiters find you on Facebook, and makes more of your profile information searchable on Google.
3. Post your Resume – Posting your resume on Facebook can be as easy as saving it to Google docs or Box.net and posting the link to your info tab on your profile.
4. Build an Online Portfolio – Include links to examples of project work, reports, presentations, or a portfolio site you’ve built elsewhere (http://recareered.blogspot.com/2008/06/how-online-portfolios-put-you-at-top-of.html). You can include these links on your info tab, or build a custom Portfolio tab and store directly on Facebook.

Network:

5. Build your network – Use a targeted approach to build your network, using the “Rule of 50’s” (http://recareered.blogspot.com/2009/12/now-that-im-linked-who-do-i-link-to.html) I describe for Linkedin – just applied to Facebook. As you are building your Facebook network, focus on heavier users, people who post regularly and who’s friends go beyond close friends and family:

  • Bring 50 Facebook local “hubs” into your network (Local metro area, minimum 1000 friends)
  • Bring 50 Facebook “hubs into your network from your state
  • Bring 50 local people from your industry vertical into your network
  • Bring 50 local people from your job function into your network
  • Bring 50 local people with your future bosses’ title into your network
  • Build a list of 20 target companies – bring 10 people from each company into your network

6. Friend Recruiters – Use Facebook’s search function to search for recruiters in your area, in your industry, and who focus on your job function. Add all you can find.
7. Join/Start a group – Go beyond the job search groups and local networking groups. (link) Join industry groups to gain information, share information, see what companies are likely to be expanding. Better yet, start your own group to build your own industry leadership and encouraging inbound industry friend requests. Invite industry recruiters to your group.

Broadcast:

8. Start a ResuBlog – Use one of Facebook’s many blogging applications to build your own ResuBlog (http://recareered.blogspot.com/2008/05/you-dont-have-to-be-shakespeare-to.html), or use an outside application like Blogger or WordPress and import your ResuBlog to Facebook. Create a separate tab for your ResuBlog.
9. Search for industry or target company information – Use Facebook’s search function to find information on your industry or target companies already posted on Facebook. Set up Google Alerts to email you daily on new industry, target company (and target company competitors), information posted to Google. Set up Twitter searches for the same.
10. Be a source of information – Now that you’ve searched for information, use it. Post links to relevant articles to your Facebook wall, to the walls of your industry and job function network, to your network at target companies, to groups you’ve joined or created, and to your ResuBlog. People at your target companies will especially find information about their competitors to be valuable. Build your reputation within your targets and industry as a key information source. The more places you post this information, the more searchable it is and the easier you’ll be found.

Facebook for Active Candidates:

Keep everything public, but understand that it’s public. If you are addicted to Facebook games, set up a different user profile with a cartoon avatar and limited personal information for your gaming. Also remember that your posts to other users’ walls or groups are also on your wall (you can remove these comments from your wall (it won’t erase your original post).

Facebook for Passive Job Seekers:

Passive candidates may want to be more selective with privacy controls, and might not want to put resume or portfolio links on their profile. Instead, passive candidates can still be a source of information, still build networks, still join/start groups, and make their ResuBlog into a source of industry and competitive information. You may want to limit postings about your own organization (especially non-public info), but you can post info about other companies to your heart’s content. Again, be careful about comments you post to other’s walls or to groups. Links will also display on your own wall – you can remove from your profile without affecting the original post.

These are just 10 of the best ways I’ve found to use Facebook in job search. There are many others currently, and more uses will likely appear as Facebook continues to mature.


Guest Expert:

Phil Rosenberg is President of reCareered (http://www.reCareered.blogspot.com), a career coaching service, helping great people discover new career paths and beat the challenges of modern job searches. Phil runs the Career Change Central group (http://www.tinyurl.com/cccpost), recently named one of Linkedin’s top groups that job seekers must join. An active blogger about career change, Phil’s articles are republished by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, ZDNet, CIO, FastCompany and dozens of job and recruiting sites. Phil can be contacted at phil.reCareered@gmail.com.

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