Facebook and Your Job Search
If you aren't on Facebook yet, and disregard it as a site for college kids, I have some news for you. If you are on Facebook, and enjoy using it to keep in touch with your friends and family, I have some news for you, too!
First, for those who are not on Facebook. Would you believe me if I told you that most of my connections have been out of school for a long time?
My Facebook connections are working professionals, from business owners to executives to directors, and many are influential in their offices. That might mean influencers in purchasing decisions, or influencers in hiring decisions. It's not just a place for college kids to post pictures of their last party.
Now, for those who already are on Facebook, and use it to socialize. Does knowing that those types of people, the influencers, are on Facebook make you think twice about the information you are sharing? Would the pictures or messages you put on Facebook be part of your overall impression you hope to share with someone who might interview you?
If you have preconceived notions about Facebook, get rid of them. Facebook is not LinkedIn, and isn't used the same way, but there is significant networking and personal branding to be done on Facebook, and not being there might be a mistake.
Facebook is not a silver bullet in your job search, but it might be very useful.
Here are three things to consider with a Facebook strategy for job seekers:
Keep your profile clean.
It's easy to be tempted to add all kinds of cute and cool stuff to your Profile, but think about the brand you need to communicate. Keep your profile clean and on-brand.
Find other professionals.
If you are in marketing, you should join the Marketing Profs Group on Facebook. Once there, look through the other members and consider participating in the group (add wall messages, videos, pictures, etc.). But contribute in an intellectual way, adding value to a conversation, not in a spammy, self-promotional way.
Grow your network.
You don't get the same benefits from a Facebook network as you do from a LinkedIn network, but there is value in growing your network. Think of your network as a channel through which you can communicate things, like your status, or requests for information about target companies, etc. Having a bigger network will help you more than having a smaller network.
Remember, Facebook started five years ago. Makes sense that many of those who have been on Facebook for a long time are in management or junior management positions - those are the people who might make a decision about you and their company! This year we'll drill down and talk about specific tactics for your Facebook job search strategy.
© Copyright Jason Alba, 2009. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Jason Alba is the CEO and creator of JibberJobber.com, and author of I’m on LinkedIn – Now What??? Jason specializes in social media, with an emphasis on getting professional or business value out of various social tools. Jason maintains four blogs, including JibberJobber.com/blog, and is co-author of I’m on Facebook – Now What???.