Facebook isn’t just a place for friends anymore.
Job seekers are using this social network to look past personal photos and friends’ status updates for their next big opportunity. Jobvite research shows that over 44 percent of all job seeking activity is happening on Facebook, and that much of the conversation is happening with trusted friends on the network.
These are active job seekers connecting on Facebook, because they see it as one more channel. However, as a recruiter, you have to approach it much differently than Twitter, and it requires users to be more active than other social networks. But it’s not hard, as the Super Socials are finding out.
Here’s how to improve your Facebook to find your next great gig.
Complete Your Profile.
Your chances of finding a job go up significantly when companies know what you do. Fill out your Facebook profile using the information from LinkedIn. For more tips about LinkedIn social profiles, read How to Build a Great Profile on LinkedIn. Every single tip is also relevant for Facebook.
Jobvite and other companies have built Facebook applications tailored for career searches. The application matches your profile information to jobs in their networks, and this allows the tools to better target job seekers and for job seekers to better target companies. Think of it like search engine optimization for your profile: the more relevant the information like using keywords that would match job descriptions, the better your profile matches.
Facebook also targets advertising based on where people have worked and their job titles. Employers can target location, educational background, age range and other demographics to reach candidates. Jobvite is one of the many platforms that can track candidate applications from Facebook, further showing that the platform is a valid place to reach future employees.
One of the senior product managers here at Jobvite, Lucinda Foss, had filled out her profile and Jobvite used Facebook’s advertising platform to target Product Managers from certain industries. She clicked, applied, and now she’s the lead on several projects here at Jobvite.
Follow Companies You Want to Work At.
Great companies that understand social networks are a great place to find employees — all you have to do it search.
Over 80 percent of employers use social media to find candidates, which means they’re looking for you. And it’s a really easy two-step process: search for companies you want to work at and like their Facebook Fan pages. Once your “Like” is registered, you receive news about the company directly in your news stream.
One of the companies that does it best is Yelp! On its Facebook Fan page they have a Work With Us icon that links directly to its job listings, searchable by region and job title. Through Facebook, you are just a couple of clicks away from applying.
Yelp! does a great job of showcasing their company culture through Facebook with their “Day in the Life” series. They profile employees at all levels of the company and what they do in a typical day so people can get an idea what the company culture is like. These posts are featured directly on the fan page and will arrive in your newsfeed.
Yelp!’s Facebook fan page where the jobs listing icon appears.
Find Common Interest Groups and Conferences.
Facebook is a great place for professional interest groups and alumni networks. The number of these groups is growing, and they’re increasingly being used for more professional reasons.
Here’s an example: I’m involved a group called the Product Design Guild, an invite-only professional group in San Francisco for User Experience Designers. Jobvite needed a freelance front-end coder for a while, so I used the group to reach out to several resources, including Pete Fecteau, a designer with coding experience. Pete’s passion for design, shown through his newsfeed, kept him in front of mind. When we needed someone like him, we brought him in; and within a couple of weeks he was working at Jobvite.
Many conferences also set up very robust Facebook presences to advertise the event, which is an awesome way to grow your networking reach. San Francisco Design Week, a conference designed for visual and user experience designers, is a very active group page on Facebook where both the event organizers and fans have a very robust dialog about the wealth of design resources available to them.
The events are also great because you get public access to the people attending the event — you can see everyone that’s joined the group — and use this to build your professional Facebook networks after the event.
Stretch the definition of “friend” to people you work with and the potential for future opportunities will grow with each connection. You spend more time at work than anywhere else. And people change jobs today more than ever — on average of four years, according to a Jobvite Infographic.
Each person that changes a job could open a world of possibilities for you. Reach out and ask if they have opportunities that fit your experience.
Build Your Network.
Don’t limit your Facebook network to professional and personal contacts. Become friends with people in your social circles, follow pundits that allow subscriptions and talk to people with similar professional interests that are half a world away. Like my friend and colleague, Kenneth James Hamer – it’s about the conversation with people that may not help you now but will help you down the road.
Post on the newsfeeds of people you subscribe to and your friends about what you want to do. Recruiters and companies will want to see passion in what you talk about, and that conversation keeps you in the front of mind of those that might be looking for someone like you.
Seriously, you never know where your next opportunity is coming from, and all you need is one.
Ask Your Friends for Help.
There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, I’m looking for new opportunities” on Facebook. Most people on Facebook have networks between 100 and 300 people, and when you think about the networks they have, you’re now reaching approximately 90,000 people.
It’s important to remember that you’re not only using your friends but also their friends to find your next next gig. At least one of them works for a company that has a job just for you.
How to Approach It?
It depends on your situation:
- If you’re an active job seeker, tell people you’re looking. Talk about what you like about your career and what kind of position you are looking for. Talk about how you’re keeping busy with activities related to your career and post interesting articles that might attract attention of recruiters. Post early and often, because the more you post, the more you appear in your friend’s newsfeeds.
- If you’re a passive job seeker, message people that can help you privately. Remember you might have people that you’re working with now (like, uh, your boss) as friends on Facebook, so it has to be a private job search. Your updated information isn’t broadcasted to your wall.
When you craft the message, don’t sound desperate — talk about the great opportunities you are looking at, and how the job market is growing. Also talk about how you are working on your skills.
Also remember that over 40 percent of Facebook’s activity happens on mobile, so you aren’t only reaching people when they log in, you’re reaching them at work, with friends or even at networking events. This allows you to cast a wide net, possibly within the context of future opportunities. It’s the best way of maximizing who you’re talking to.
Patrick Neeman is the Jobvite’s Director of User Experience. His previous experience includes working with startups to launch their products, User Experience and Social Media consulting with Microsoft, and managing a team of 25 User Experience professionals for a technology consultancy. He also runs a blog, Usability Counts, that covers topics such as User Experience, Social Media, and Web Marketing.