How to use Facebook in your job search

I got this question from a client:

“Would it be advantageous to put some of my past work experience on Facebook as well? How much do employers use Facebook?”

So here’s the deal: Facebook is different than LinkedIn, which is different than Twitter, which is different than your resume, which is different than…

Imagine going to a network meeting and, when you get hte chance to stand up, you say:

“My name is Jason Alba. I’m a ______ and I’m looking for a job in _______.  I’m especially looking for introductions to ______ or ______ and ______.”

Would that be appropriate?

Well, if it’s a job club, then YES, it would probably be appropriate.  But if it’s a home and garden show, and you are just mingling with vendors, it would probably seem really out of place.

The idea is context. Who is your audience, and what types of messaging or communication or conversation seems right for the meeting?

Take this concept online, and consider what message you are sending out on LinkedIn (“here are my professional competencies”) and Twitter (“I’m hungry, where’s the taco truck?”) and Facebook.

What kind of message is appropriate on Facebook?

Let’s first consider who you are connected to on Facebook.  Typically friends, and some associates, and maybe some professional acquaintances.  What kind of message is “appropriate” to put in front of them?  I have a little different approach than what I’ve heard from others (which is, LinkedIn is for professional, Facebook is for personal (only)).  Consider this: do your Facebook Friends have any ability to help you find a new job?  I’m not talking about looking up openings, I’m talking about knowing someone who might know someone (aka, help you network).

I’ve seen this numerous times over the last few years: someone posts that they are now out of work, and looking for a new job.

It’s a casual mention, not going into detail, but the comments on that one post start to pile up.

Comments come from family and friends who seem like they wouldn’t be able to help.  Some of them are out of the workforce (retirement or homemakers), others are in completely different fields, and some are just teenagers who surely wouldn’t know anyone.

But every grandma on there has a daughter or son who might know someone (or, be that someone!).  Every teen has parents and/or aunts or uncles, or other adults they have a relationship with that might be able to help.

See what we are doing?

We’re bypassing the idea of “you are in my target company, thus, you are the ‘right’ person,” and going straight for the heart of what networking is.

Reconsider your messaging so that, instead of saying “does anyone have a job for me,” you simply say “I need help… here’s what I’m looking for, here’s how you can help me.”

And the “here’s what I’m looking for” is usually not “a job in xyz industry.”  Usually it’s an introduction to someone who does this type of thing.

Most people are not going to know about a particular opening in xyz industry, but a lot of people will think “I wonder if I know anyone who can help this person?”

Bottom line: Facebook can be an excellent place to do a job search.  You just have to rethink what your question is, and how you get that in front of your Facebook Friends.

(oh yeah, this is not a one-time post… keep this in front of your connections!)