How to use Facebook in your Job Search

With well over 1 billion users, Facebook is a powerful networking tool and although we mostly use it for personal reasons, it’s also a great platform to leverage in a job search.

Chances are your future employer is on Facebook, and the company that you dream to work for is also using Facebook. While itdoesn’t have the same professional appeal as LinkedIn, it shouldn’t be ignored, because when you are applying for roles, employers are looking at your Facebook profile.

How then, do you make your Facebook profile work for you in your job search?

STEP 1: Audit your profile

Protect your brand and keep your profile clean. Make sure that you remove anything – pictures, comments, tags – that you wouldn’t want a potential employer seeing. Your profile picture should also have a level of professionalism.

Mind your manners. Avoid any comments that could be interpreted as distasteful or discriminatory. Fact is, you don’t know your future employer’s background, religious or otherwise, everyone is allowed to their opinions and being respectful will ensure that you don’t lose out on an offer.

What do your Groups and Apps say about you? Remove any that don’t portray you in a positive and professional manner.

Keep it Private. Use the privacy settings to determine who sees what. Also, make use of the preview function, it allows you to see your profile as the outside world would see it.

STEP 2: Use that network to score your dream job

Status Updates: Go ahead and tell your friends that you are looking for a new opportunity. Update your status regularly, let them know what you are specifically looking for. Use your network, chances are, someone knows someone who is hiring. It’s WHO you know, right?

Update your work and education history: Edit your profile and add your job and education details, and do include your accomplishments in the ‘description’ section. You can also add professional skills.

Pages: Company pages will tell you a lot about an organization’s culture, brand and mission statement. Getting to know the company to which you are applying, allows you to personalize your cover letter, and even find people who could help get you introduced to the hiring manager. Getting referred to people who work for the company is a great way to get your foot in the door. It also shows resourcefulness and genuine interest. Also, companies announce vacancies, events and networking opportunities.

Engage: Post updates that relate to both your professional and personal life – you can also edit the privacy settings for each post, sharing only with close friends and family for example. Post about your company’s accomplishments, share media links that relate to your industry, and respond to your professional friends’ posts, make insightful comments and share when appropriate.

Facebook won’t replace LinkedIn anytime soon, but simply for the reasons of user activity and sheer size, don’t leave Facebook out of the mix in your job search strategy.

For more great tips on adding Social Media to your job search mix, check out these great blogs:

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn

How to put your Pinterest Obsession to good use and land a new job

5 Top Tips for Finding a Job on Social Media