Your next job offer could arrive on your Facebook News Feed. You probably didn’t consider the ability of your Facebook profile to help you find jobs when you first created your account, but it’s real.
Facebook isn’t the newest social media platform out there, but it does attract an enthusiastic crowd – there are five new profiles created on the platform every second of every day (zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/). Millennials, those born in the two decades leading up to the year 2000, make up the largest part of the workforce, and are a generation that grew up on social media. While LinkedIn is more directly aimed at career-related social networking, it’s important to not ignore what Facebook is capable of in the employment arena.
If you like using Facebook, and if the idea of taking advantage of it to further your career seems interesting, consider the following tips.
Spring-clean your profile.
Your first step to using Facebook to advance your career should be to conduct an audit of your profile to ensure that the content you have on it is well-suited to your career plans. It’s common for recruiters to go on Facebook or other social media to try to learn more about job applicants than they can from their resumes. As far back as 2015, according to a Jobvite Recruiter Nation survey (jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/jobvite_recruiter_nation_2015.pdf), more than 50 percent of recruiters reported using Facebook to research candidates. The state of your Facebook account matters a great deal to any plan to grow your career.
If your Facebook account has embarrassing old college photos or odd status updates from years ago, they won’t likely endear you to recruiters. You need to set aside time to work through your profile post by post to hide or delete anything that would appear out of place in a professional setting. You don’t need to take out everything that expresses your fun, personal side; it would just be a good idea to take aim at anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable having your grandparents see.
You can, additionally, make use of the privacy settings on your Facebook account to help ensure that content you’d like to keep private is only visible to friends.
Reach out to anyone you wish to work with.
People tend to avoid mixing personal social media with their professional lives. In reality, however, recruiters usually feel better about doing business with people that they like on a personal level. It’s important to stop seeing it as a risky venture to mix your personal Facebook space with your professional life.
Once you are done cleaning up your profile, you should be comfortable using Facebook to make connections with clients, or the professionals that you meet at the networking events that you attend. Subscribing on Facebook to receive the latest updates from professional contacts through text messages can be a good idea. While it can seem like excessive engagement, it can be a quick and effective way to establish relationships with select people who are important to your career. Staying updated through text messages can be far less effortful than making your way into the Facebook app and scrolling to find updates from important contacts.
Being a part of groups frequented by professionals in your niche is another way to stay tuned in to people who are important to your career.
Start a Facebook group.
Starting a group on Facebook can be a powerful way to reach out to other professionals who share your interest in a specific topic. In general, creating a group on Facebook is a better idea than creating a Facebook page. Facebook groups have a more robust presence on Facebook’s algorithms, compared to pages. When you create a Facebook group, you’re more likely to have Facebook’s algorithms push your content until it is seen by others.
To be meaningful to others, a group on Facebook needs to directly speak to the interests of the people on it. Thinking of topics that are likely to appeal to professionals in your industry niche is a good plan. You need to bring up interesting questions to draw industry professionals into a conversation, and do your homework so that you’re able to add value to the discussion — through posting relevant thoughts, or links. The more value you bring to a group, the more likely you are to build your professional reputation on Facebook.
In general, it makes sense to choose to post in the afternoons; this is the most common time for people to be on Facebook.
Get on employers’ pages on Facebook.
Many employers post information about open positions they have, in just the way that they post status updates. When you’re in the market for a new direction in your career, it can help to look at the Facebook pages of the employers that you most admire. Facebook is home to about 80 million businesses, and they often post information about career openings. If a position opens up with an employer you like, you can apply directly on their Facebook page. Unlike some job posting platforms, applying on Facebook is free.
It may seem like you need to make a huge commitment to Facebook to make use of it for your career, but it doesn’t actually take much time. All you need to do is to set aside a couple of hours each week to look at your group, make meaningful posts, reach out to important contacts, and look for jobs. You’ll network effectively this way, and lay a meaningful foundation for the future of your career.