According to a U.S. survey by Jobvite, 67% of people looking for a job said they used Facebook in their social media search, compared to 45% for twitter and 40% for LinkedIn.
Another Jobvite survey found that 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn, 66% use Facebook, 55% Twitter.
Most of you will be familiar with LinkedIn as a professional networking and job search tool. Whilst many recruiters and employers see LinkedIn and job boards as their preferred options for advertising roles, job seekers are mixing it up a bit when searching for jobs on social media.
And some companies are starting to listen. So, as a person on your career journey you could be missing out on opportunities if you don’t include Facebook in your job search strategy.
Job searchers are using Facebook to seek out opportunities
So, whilst it’s important to be on and use LinkedIn as a tool for your job search, research and screening (and my view is that LinkedIn provides a far superior set of functionality over Facebook in this regard), given that 66% of recruiters use Facebook and your personal network is likely to be using Facebook, Facebook should also be included in your opportunity capture strategy.
Social networking means more opportunities
Additional to targeting employers you also need to be aware of where your ‘social’ network is hanging out. Networking, referrals and contacts will play a significant role in your job search strategy, and along with LinkedIn, Facebook is an integral funnel of opportunities. Reach out to your friends and their friends. If there is one thing the GFC has done, it’s to raise the prominence and reduce the stigma of more frequent job seeking. So don’t be shy – ask for help!
How to use Facebook as a job seeker
Firstly, I can hear you saying “I don’t want recruiters, employers and professional contacts to see all of my personal life thank you very much!” And I’m not suggesting you abandon LinkedIn in favor of Facebook! But for some – Facebook should be a part of their job search toolkit. The important thing is to use it correctly.
Lock your Facebook profile down!
You can lock your Facebook profile down and simply use it for following companies and roles advertised on Facebook. For those of you who may wish to mix up the personal with professional contacts on Facebook there are some other options. Locking your Facebook profile down should be your first step.
In addition to locking your Facebook profile down – which I strongly suggest you do, you can segment or categorize your list of contacts to include the option of ‘Professional’ or another word you’d use to separate your close friends from those who you’d engage with in a professional sense more often than a social one. The idea is that you start to become more savvy about who sees what. For the prolific poster on Facebook, this may all be way too cumbersome, but here we go.
How to create a list of professional contacts
Go to your list of existing friends and hover your cursor over the ‘Friends’ rectangle next to a professional contact’s name. There’s an option to create a new list. Click on ‘Create’ and create a list called say – ‘Professional’, and then find all of your existing friends who you would consider professional contacts and who you’d maybe not share your personal updates with and add them to the list called Professional. Using this list you’ll be able to post professional updates and direct them towards your professional contacts on Facebook – and similarly only share the more personal moments with close friends.
How do I make sure my professional contacts stay professional?
Putting a more human side of you forward is not such a bad thing, but keep it ‘professional’ for those who are in your professional contacts list.
When you’re ready to post an update to Facebook that’s just for your ‘friends’, click on the rectangle that says ‘Public’ to the left of the word ‘Post. There’s a pull-down menu that has the word ‘Custom’ in it. Click on ‘Custom’ and select the option “don’t share this with,” where you can type in the word “Professional.” Similarly – if you’re sharing an article that would bore the pants off your ‘friends’ you can choose to share it with just your list of professionals.
Building your professional content on Facebook
To further gain the attention of the 65% of recruiters who scan Facebook you’ll need to ensure your Facebook profile includes a reasonable amount of your professional history. Whilst LinkedIn’s layout is more like your CV and can include video, photos, professional opinion pieces and professional branding, Facebook provides an opportunity to add personalized content such as photos, movies, interests like travel etc. that’s not directly related to your job – You can add all of your jobs and education too. I like to think of the sum total of your professional reputation and brand combined with your personal brand (Facebook) as being your ‘Career Brand’. It’s a different dimension to the older term ‘Personal Brand’. You can read about this concept here
Broaden your ‘professional’ network of friends on Facebook
If you’d like to extend your group of Facebook friends/contacts who you already know or who maybe friends of friends in a particular company, you can use the ‘Find Friends’ on the menu at the top of your Facebook home page and enter the name of the employer in the selection box further down. A list of people who work at that company will appear. You can send them an invite to connect.
Companies are active on Facebook!
Some companies such as Air New Zealand are targeting talent on Facebook more than others. Savvy talent acquisition teams are investing in and promoting their employer brand and opportunities where their targeted talent hangs out. If you think you could be on their target talent list or they are on yours then start following them on Facebook and checking in on their Facebook site regularly to search for opportunities. For example – Air New Zealand Careers.
Air New Zealand pushing their brand to targeted employees and customers
Summary and next Steps for you on Facebook
- Facebook is ideal for some niche roles where organisations will use the channel to attract talent and market their employment brand. Examples are graduate intake initiatives, tourism and hospitality.
- Whilst Facebook does offer the option of segmenting contacts into categories don’t forget to lock your Facebook page down.
- LinkedIn – which has grown up as a professional platform, offers significantly more than Facebook in terms of job search tools, functionality and professional content. However for some, Facebook should be included in your job search strategy.
- Have a look at a few companies on Facebook and see what they’re doing – what’s the brand they present on that platform.
- Start following the companies you’re interested in.
- Become proactive in using Facebook to search for more opportunities, but not at the expense of LinkedIn.
- Update your Facebook profile to add more about your professional side too.
- Search for Facebook contacts who may be able to assist you. Don’t be shy. Ask for help.
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