Can You Really Find a Job Using Facebook?
With 1.2 billion monthly active users, one would naturally assume that Facebook would be the go-to place to network with the widest audience possible.
However, Facebook has proven to be a difficult place to find work. This article will explore strategies that candidates can use to harness the strength of the world’s largest social network.
Pardon Me….But Are You Hiring?
To be blunt: no one logs into Facebook expecting to be asked, ‘Are you hiring?’ or ‘Do you know of any openings?’
We use Facebook to catch up with friends, read news, discover products, find coupons or discounts, or learn about events. Job hunting and networking are not the most common practices or intentions on Facebook, but these activities are certainly carried out, and there are ways to cultivate connections and uncover opportunities in an unobtrusive manner.
How To Ask Your Own Friends For Help
For starters, do not simply pull up your Friends page on Facebook, create a message indicating that you are looking for a job, and then copy, paste, and send the identical message to all of your other friends. It may seem efficient, but it is sure to create some confusion or perhaps irritation on the part of your friends – especially those with whom you haven’t spoken in a long period of time.
Instead, be personal – and strategic. First off, create a shortlist of friends whom you believe would be the most helpful. This is perhaps the most difficult part of ‘working’ your friends and personal relationships to determine who would be in a position to help. Some friends – as much as we love them – will never be able to help us in our job search. Some friends tell us that they will help us – but never follow through.
Of course, part of being strategic is also thinking about the other channels of which these friends are also a part – namely LinkedIn. Consider any overlaps in channels, and decide which communications channel might be the most appropriate way to reach out to the contact. Everyone is different, and is partial to one channel over another.
For instance, some of your friends prefer Facebook’s Inbox or messaging system, while others prefer that of LinkedIn. Others use Twitter’s direct messaging (DM) system while others prefer email.
This part is certainly a challenge, as all of us have our preferences. When job hunting, we want to be able to make ourselves as convenient as possible to the networking contact, and so take the time to determine which network the contact is most active on, and craft the most appropriate, timely message to send using that preferred channel.
A note about messaging via Facebook: the recipient does not receive a corresponding email alert, as they would with LinkedIn or Twitter DM. As such, there might be a delay in the person receiving the message and responding, if the person does not log into Facebook daily or use the Facebook mobile app.
Network – But Don’t Ask for a Job
When reaching out via Facebook Inbox or messages, indicate to your contact that you would like to chat with them professionally. Err on the side of brevity, and then within the context of a longer external email, phone call, or Skype session, elaborate on your professional situation and your request for assistance.
The assistance you might ask for may not necessarily be any job leads, but rather a recommendation, character reference, introduction to someone they know, a night’s sleep on their sofa for an interview, or some other job-hunting help outside of the often-dreaded job lead.
If your friends truly are your friends – and of course, in times of crisis or critical transition, we often make these determinations or these determinations are made for us – they will agree to help you in any way they can, no matter how small the request.
Visiting the Company Page
Companies themselves realize the enormous size and power of Facebook for recruiting. As such, many of them have created sizeable ‘corporate’ Pages – not just brand pages with promotions, news, and coupons – but Pages clearly marked ‘Recruiting’ or ‘Careers’ in efforts to seek job applicants.
Of course, engagement can have another surprise benefit: your friends are kept informed of your activity via their Newsfeed and Ticker (the live feed on the right side of the Facebook window). So, for example, if you Like a company’s careers Page, that news will become visible to your friends, and some of them may reach out to you and ask, ‘Hi, I noticed you Liking a lot of careers and recruiting websites – are you looking for a job? How can I help?’ That would certainly be a welcome conversation!
However, a word of caution when using Facebook to network: your profile (or the parts that you have allowed to be visible to friends or friends of friends) will be visible. This means that those who manage the recruiting Page for a company will see your profile – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Consider ‘pruning’ your profile a bit before engaging with recruiters on Facebook. While it’s great that they can get to see a more personal side to you, there are some details which you feel might be inappropriate for a recruiter to access, such as birthdate, political views, marital or family status, and the like.
In conclusion, while Facebook may not be the primary destination on every job seeker’s journey, it is worth considering for effective outreach to familiar contacts, as well as a way to investigate corporate recruiting Pages. Because of the mostly-social nature of Facebook, strong consideration and caution must be given on how to handle these interactions properly, in order for positive results to be achieved.
Comment by Mick
There's also quite a few location based groups on Facebook for people who are looking for a job or to hire a new employee. I actually found a part-time job through a group like that.
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