By now you probably know that the photos and comments you post on Facebook could haunt you professionally, but what you might not realize is that Facebook can actually help you in your job search. One of the best ways to gain a competitive edge and secure an interview is to have someone within the organization mention your name to the hiring manger. Facebook is a platform for doing just that. Here’s how.
Update your friends.
Let your friends know that you are looking for a job. Begin by posting a status update. On his blog TheJobBored, Brian McCullough states to be specific about the type of position you are seeking and which geographical areas you are targeting. (Example: Looking for a marketing position with a Fortune 500 organization in Ohio.) Identify the organizations or positions that interest you, and ask if they know anyone who might help you. (Example: Applied at Procter & Gamble today. Does anyone know somebody who works there?) Follow-up with the contacts they provide and introduce yourself.
Join the professional community.
Search for groups and pages that align with your interests. For example, follow the alumni group of your alma mater and post on their wall to ask for job leads or introductions. Learn more about current trends and industry buzz words through professional associations. Post a comment or share a professional article that you are reading. Your fraternity or sorority might also connect you with business executives who can notify you of any positions before they are advertised or endorse your application. These activities will strengthen your personal brand, showcase your expertise, increase your visibility and connect you with job leads.
Like employers’ pages.
Once you have identified your target organizations, find them on Facebook. In a recent survey conducted by Jobvite, 80 percent of the employers who responded stated that they use social media to recruit candidates and another 9 percent plan on doing so in the future. If you are looking for an example of how employers are using Facebook, check out Ernst & Young. They use it to share information about the hiring process and their current openings. Following organizations often puts you in direct contact with recruiters. Monitor their updates to gain insider information that will give you an advantage during an interview and help you assess your potential satisfaction with their corporate culture.
Read the rest of the article on my post at USAToday College.