Facebook has the potential to connect you with your next job. Facebook has approximately 845 million monthly active users. In contrast, LinkedIn, which bills itself as “the largest professional network” in the world, has 95 million unique monthly visitors. With 10 times as many members, it’s no wonder then that job seekers are finding Facebook is an increasingly important tool in a well-rounded job search.
1.         You are already connected. If you already have a Facebook account, you’re likely already spending quite a bit of time on the site. Facebook is the “stickiest” social website, with users spending an average of 405 minutes (six hours) on the site each month, compared to just 17 minutes per month visiting LinkedIn.
2.         Companies use social networks to recruit. Research studies show that anywhere from 30 to 80 percent of jobs are found through networking. The rise of “social networks” over the past five years has changed how companies recruit employees online, and how candidates build and utilize their “networks.” In fact, 89 percent of U.S. companies used social networks for recruiting in 2011. It’s estimated that 14.4 million job seekers used online social networks to find their current or most recent job.
3.         Limit exposure if employed. One significant advantage to using Facebook in your job search is if you don’t want your current employer to know that you’re considering a job change. Having a Facebook profile is not as likely to get the attention of your employer in the same way that having a LinkedIn profile will.
4.         How many friends do you need? Using social networking for your job search can be effective, especially if you have at least 150 friends on Facebook. This seems to be the “tipping point” at which online networking becomes even more effective.
5.         Privacy settings. The most important thing to remember about Facebook privacy settings is that they can change at any time. As Facebook updates their privacy guidelines in the future, those changes may affect the information that you’ve posted in the past on the site. When it comes to your job search, the most important thing to remember is that the Internet has a long memory. That is to say, once something is out there on the Internet, it’s hard to get rid of it.
6.         Limit the audience setting. Another key setting is “Limit the Audience for Past Posts.” This allows you to automatically change the privacy settings for all old posts to “Friends Only.” This helps limit the exposure of your previous posts that are available for public view.
7.         Subscribe feature. If you are using Facebook in your job search, you should consider enabling the “Subscribe” feature on your personal profile. You can share your public updates on Facebook with, well…the “Public” by enabling the Subscribe button on your profile. This will allow people who subscribe to you to see posts you set as “Public” in their News Feed, instead of having to visit your page directly.
“A large group of jobseekers believe they have a better chance to land a job if they are connected, proactive, and prepared — and rightly so. These are some of the very qualities employers look for when hiring, and social networks are emerging as the meeting ground for likeminded innovative employers and prospective employees.”
– Dan Finnigan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jobvite, an online recruiting platform encompassing sourcing and talent acquisition services.
While LinkedIn is an excellent job search networking tool, Facebook has its value too. Take a few minutes to evaluate how Facebook can add to your job search results.