How to Use Facebook to Land a Job

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Last week, Facebook hit 1 billion users in a single day. That's one reason recruiters have turned to this network to share job leads and research candidates.

It isn't just the volume of users that makes Facebook an attractive source of hiring and research – it's also the fact that 70 percent of Facebook users engage daily, versus only 13 percent of LinkedIn users, according to a 2015 Pew Research study. While many job seekers consider LinkedIn to be the professional network and place to be, it isn't the only social network recruiters will look at. According to Jobvite's 2014 Social Recruiting Survey, 66 percent of recruiters reported using Facebook to recrtuit.

If you are actively job seeking or plan to, you should know how to put your best foot forward and use Facebook to network and uncover job opportunities.Conduct an audit. Head over to Google or your favorite search engine and search for your name. Take note of what appears on the first page of search results. Chances are, you will see a listing that says "[Your name] Profiles | Facebook." Click on this link, and you will see the Facebook profiles of people with your name.

Next, look at your status updates. Do your posts have a globe next to the date? If so, your update is public, which means anyone and everyone can see your update and comments others have added. If you do not want certain status updates to be public, you can change your settings by clicking on the inverted triangle and changing the post to "Friends."

Know your privacy settings. Facebook has a reputation for changing privacy setting criteria. If you haven't looked at yours in awhile, it would be wise to do so. You can change privacy settings for "Who can see my stuff," "Who can contact me" and "Who can look me up." If you do not want people to be able to search for you by email or phone number, adjust those settings. You can also prevent your profile from showing up in search engine results by removing that criteria.

"Job seekers think that their profiles on platforms like Facebook are private and that hiring managers can't find them. This is not always the case," says Lisa Brown Morton, President and CEO of Nonprofit HR. Know your settings, but a better strategy is to be careful about what you post.

Stay professional. "Oversharing and acting unprofessional is also a common mistake many job seekers make," Morton says. "As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn't show it [to] your grandmother or put it on your résumé, you shouldn't put it on social media." Avoid using profanity, sharing provocative or inappropriate photos or speaking negatively about your current or past employer.

Find job leads. Facebook isn't a job board, but you can use its Groups feature to find people posting jobs in your field and geographic area. Chris Russell, recruiter and founder of CareerCloud, recommends searching Facebook by using your city and the word "jobs" to find groups that share job leads.

Fill out your profile. If you are going to become more active on Facebook for your job search, one way to enhance your profile is to add past work history and professionals skills to the "About" sections of your profile.

Network. Have you stayed connected with your college classmates? What about other alumni? Be sure you've added your college and even high school information if you want others to know what schools you attended. Consider joining Facebook groups for alumni as well.

Participate in discussions in groups or communities by your occupation, and "like" a company's page or join its career group to interact with employees managing those accounts. You can also search Facebook for people who work at your dream company. In the Facebook search bar, start typing "people who work at {insert name of company}." You can see who works there and who your mutual friends are.

Leverage social media. "By failing to have an active digital presence, job seekers miss opportunities to build up their professional profiles and find job opportunities their competition is likely taking advantage of," Morton says. Socially savvy job seekers will have an advantage over those who are not active.

Every day people are using social networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Your connections with people on these networks could potentially turn into a new job if you use them appropriately. Remember: Companies prefer to hire referrals and people they know.

Hannah Morgan writes and speaks on career topics and job search trends on her blog Career Sherpa. She is the author of "The Infographic Résumé" and co-author of "Social Networking for Business Success."
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