Facebook has become more than just a platform to connect with friends and family. Unemployment is high, and more and more job seekers are searching for work in rather unconventional places. Studies show that nearly 25% of job seekers around the world are now searching Facebook for new employment opportunities. With over 750 million users, Facebook provides a great opportunity to make personal and professional connections. However, before you start the job hunt on Facebook, there are a couple of rules that you should follow; otherwise your Facebook profile might actually hurt your chances to find a job. Here is a quick guide on the Do’s and Don’ts of job search via Facebook.
Clean up and monitor your profile!
Using Facebook as a tool for your job search requires you to clean up your profile before you start networking with other professionals and companies. While it might be easy for you to control the content of your posts and pictures, you have less control over what your friends are posting on your Wall. By the time you notice inappropriate content on your profile, it might already be too late and a potential employer might see it first. Signing up for a reputation monitoring service like Reppler helps you to ensure that your online reputation stays intact.
Showcase yourself professionally!
Contrary to pure professional networks like LinkedIn, Facebook gives you an opportunity to showcase your professional AND personal interests. While your resume and cover letter only convey your professional skills, your Facebook profile will show off your personality, which for some companies is just as important. At the same time, don’t forget to fill out the Bio and the Work and Education section, as companies will likely look at those first.
Search for company profiles!
Facebook has thousands of company profiles, so make use of company pages that you are interested in by liking or joining their pages. That way, you will get more information about the company, and you might even find information about job openings. Don’t hesitate to participate in discussions to show your knowledge and expertise, but remember to maintain a professional attitude. If possible, engage in conversation with employees from that company.
Join groups/fields related to your industry!
By joining a group with people in the industry that you are interested in, you will get access to like-minded people that you can network with. It also gives you a chance to learn more about your field of interest. Don’t hesitate to share links to articles in your status updates; it shows that you do your research and have a genuine interest in the industry.
Make use of Facebook applications like BranchOut and BeKnown!
Facebook Apps like BranchOut and BeKnown can be used as part of your job search on Facebook. Once you sign up, you will find out who in your Facebook network is connected to the companies that you would like to work for. At the same time, companies and individuals can post job openings for free, which you can share among your friends.
Refrain from angry posts!
Employers look at your Facebook profile to find out more about your personality. Don’t vent online when someone or something upsets you. Potential employers might be hesitant to hire you if the tone of the language on your Wall is constantly negative. Also refrain from using derogatory language or any type of profanity.
Don’t badmouth your current or previous employer!
If you give employers the idea that you will tarnish their image once you part ways with the company, it is unlikely that they will hire you in the first place. Also, if you are currently employed, don’t forget any confidentiality and conduct agreements you’ve signed. If you violate your contract, you might end up jobless while you are hunting for a new position.
Don’t post controversial content or pictures!
Think twice before you post anything that reveals questionable behavior or habits. Avoid pictures that show too much skin (bikinis, underwear), excessive alcohol or reveal your party habits. Make sure that you un-tag yourself from images that others posts if the content is inappropriate.
Don’t be afraid to be creative!
Last but not least, have fun and express yourself responsibly. There are plenty of ways you can create a positive self-image, and if you follow some basic guidelines, Facebook can be a great tool to propel your job search.