How to Use Facebook for Your Job Search

Last week, I reported on an experiment that Willy Franzen, from One Day, One Job conducted with new college grads who posted ads on Facebook advertising their interest in working in specific industries.

The technique is bold, a bit different and did result in some networking opportunities for the 20-somethings who participated. However, the fact is, advertising a job search on Facebook isn’t a strategy for every job seeker, as you run the risk of looking a bit desperate, which isn’t exactly the persona most hiring managers seek.

So, is Facebook useless for your job hunt? Absolutely not! Networking is the #1 way people find jobs, and, contrary to popular belief, not all of those networking connections are the result of “close connections” – such as your brother-in-law hiring your next-door neighbor. In reality, making connections in a variety of settings will help propel your search.

In fact, the New York Times recently published an article, The Brave New World of Digital Intimacy, which emphasizes the importance of expanding your network beyond your immediate circle:

This rapid growth of weak ties can be a very good thing. Sociologists have long found that “weak ties” greatly expand your ability to solve problems. For example, if you’re looking for a job and ask your friends, they won’t be much help; they’re too similar to you, and thus probably won’t have any leads that you don’t already have yourself. Remote acquaintances will be much more useful, because they’re farther afield, yet still socially intimate enough to want to help you out.

This idea is also proven in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, an excellent read for those interested in being connected!

Facebook offers many opportunities for connecting and expanding your network. Phil Rosenberg recently suggested the following ideas to use Facebook groups to expand your network:

Post the right message:
Commenting and posting links to industry articles in the spirit of sharing shows you as a giver and an expert at the same time. Make sure that the article or message is relevant to the group.

Start the conversation:
Brag. If you’re creative, write about successful projects you’ve been involved in (you may not be able to include the company name if you can’t disclose). Again, this is sharing with the audience, and is both appreciated, and demonstrates your expertise.

Continue the conversation:
Comment on posts that others have started. Include more ideas than just “I agree”.

Include links:
Sign your post or comment with your signature block with live links to your Facebook, LinkedIN, personal Blog, personal webpage, etc. Why? Links get you Google and Yahoo rankings.

So, while you may not be a 20-something willing to advertise your job hunt, don’t discount Facebook as a place to propel your job search!

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September 2008
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