What would you do to get a new job?
Despite your valuable skills, the job market can still look pretty menacing. You’ve probably looked at a few job boards and come to the unhappy conclusion that there will be hundreds of people applying for all of the good jobs. You may have heard you need to network too, but that all seems a little fake.
Now, take a look at your Facebook profile. Does it look impressive? Would you hire that person?
Maybe it’s time to sort it out.
Facebook is a very engaged community that is full of opportunities for job seekers. You just have to know what you’re doing.
1. Make Sure Your Information Is Correct & Visible
First things first. If someone from your dream firm were to look at the “About” information on your Facebook profile, would they be able to contact you? There’s no need to have your phone number publicly viewable, but the person looking really should be able to email you and follow a link to your portfolio website. Check that there are no typos and that these pieces of information are publicly viewable. You may also want to de-clutter a bit so that only the best email address and website are public, so there’s no confusion when a professional contact sees your profile.
This is also a good time to make sure your profile picture and header are professional enough. They don’t have to be glamour shots, but they should be modest, decent photos that represent you well. First impressions count for a lot in the job-seeking world.
2. Check Nothing Too Personal Is Visible
On the flip side of this is making sure that anything too casual or personal is hidden away or deleted. Don’t just hide it to “Friends Only”, either. Make a friends list for your good friends and hide the personal things so that only they can see them. What to hide?
- Friends-lock any unprofessional updates.
- Limit photo access to good friends.
- Friends-lock things you’ve been tagged in.
- Friends-lock who can see pages you’ve liked.
- Leave unprofessional or offensive groups.
- Delete unprofessional apps and limit visibility of remaining apps.
In fact, hide most stuff. Most of what is public on Facebook doesn’t need to be, and you’re actually failing to protect your own friends’ privacy whenever you post publicly.
Make sure your religious views and political preferences are not publicly displayed. Also make sure no-one can write on your timeline or tag you without you approving it first.
3. Make Sure People Can Contact You On Facebook
These days on Facebook, unsolicited mail and friend requests go into a black hole you never have to see. So most people can happily allow Facebook mail and friend requests from strangers without it bothering them. When you’re job seeking though, this is vital. You need old friends to be able to connect with you, and you need all professional contacts to be able to communicate with you quickly. If might also be worth considering whether to let professional contacts “follow” you publicly rather than relying on two-way friend acceptance.
You may also want to make it a habit to check “All Mail” and your friend requests on occasion. It may be worth it!
4. Make A Few Relevant Public Updates
I know we just hid most of your updates from view, but it’s important for you to have something on your profile that can actually be seen. These should be updates that won’t upset your friends, yet will be relevant to your potential employers and professional contacts. Useful links are an easy, colourful starting point here. Triple-check to make sure nothing in your update is offensive, and that your spelling is correct.
5. Build Your Network
Now it’s time to find your old friends from university, the friends of your parents and anyone else you’ve worked with and not kept in contact with. You need your network to be full of people who know your skills and expertise, and those that trust and care about you. Don’t forget to add people to relevant friends lists as you add them – you don’t want everyone to see everything! Keep a list for “Professional Contacts” that you can limit accordingly. You may also consider starting a private Interest list for the pages of companies and professionals you’d like to keep track of.
6. Join Groups
Facebook groups are a fantastic way to meet like-minded people. Join groups relevant to your skills and the sort of work you’re hoping to do. If you’re trying to move into a new industry, use the groups as a way to find answers to your questions. If you’re looking to position yourself as an expert in a given industry, answer questions and offer advice to other people in the group. Keep adding value: start conversations about relevant current events, send useful links to the group and discuss the things other people bring up. It’s okay to mention in passing every now and then that you’re looking for a certain type of role. Just try to work it in naturally.
Don’t forget to also join groups that are more local in nature, like freelancer support groups and the like. Any chance you get to meet the group members in real life is a way to make friends or acquaintances out of a few online professional contacts.
7. Tactfully Mention You’re Looking For Work
An occasional status update or group comment that alludes to your job search can actually help, if done correctly. Moaning about a lack of jobs won’t work. However, mentioning that you’re looking for a company that does XYZ well will generate conversation about companies that potentially fit your ideals, while also letting on that you are actively looking for work. You never know who might remember you when a job comes up.
Oh, and do I even need to remind you to friends-lock these updates? Because I doubt you want your current or future employer seeing this.
8. You Could Even Take Out An Advert
Really bold job-seekers have occasionally made use of Facebook’s advertising system to snag a job. The way to do this is to be extremely specific about who sees the advert. You can narrow the viewers down to people who like a certain page, at a particular company, who hold a specific position and who are in a certain age range. Then you only pay when your advert is seen or clicked on, so you can keep the costs down. Taking out an advert is a pretty gutsy move, though!
What Do Jobseekers Do Wrong On Facebook?
If you’ve spent a little bit of time thinking about this, you may have seen some classic examples of jobseekers doing exactly the wrong things. Please share them so that our readers don’t make the same mistakes. What have you seen jobseekers do wrong on Facebook?