By Gerrit Hall
Social networks are a prime way to find a new job. Not sold? According to an infographic by Jobvite, one in six Americans actually found their last job through an online social network.
What may be more surprising to many professionals is that Facebook topped the list with the most job seeking activity (44%), followed by LinkedIn (26%) and Twitter (23%). In fact, a whopping 18.4 million Americans said that Facebook got them their current job.
Facebook isn’t just for farming your (virtual) land or posting pictures of your cat -- it’s also valuable for the following reasons:
1. It’s a prime way to keep in touch with your network. Most active users spend about 50 minutes per day on Facebook. And with Facebook mobile and apps, some people even check their notifications as they happen.
2. Employers are looking at your online presence. With the new Timeline layout of user profiles, employers can learn more about your past with a few simple clicks on different years in the side panel. Want to impress them? Include past career milestones on your Timeline to show them your value as a job candidate. Oh, and get rid of anything that may be deemed unprofessional or lock down your privacy settings to only share what you want them to see.
3. Your Facebook network is more willing to help. The people you’ve friended on Facebook probably know you better (and on a more personal level) than those you’re connected with on Twitter or LinkedIn. It’s quite likely the reason Facebook trumps LinkedIn and Twitter in job search success is because the connections you have there are much stronger than most of those in your professional networks.
4. Newsfeed delivers your update to each and every one of your friends. That is, if they haven’t hidden you from their feed! A simple update about your job search or question about a company has the possibility to spark a conversation with any one of the folks you’re connected to -- and could lead to a stronger relationship with those individuals. Heck, you might even find out that you have friends that work at one of your ideal companies or can refer you to their boss.
5. Getting job search feedback has never been easier. With the unemployment rate at a steady eight percent, it’s probable that some of your fellow friends are also on the job hunt. On the flip side, you also have friends who are part of the hiring process for their company. Use these resources! Although I wouldn’t recommend being negative in your status updates (such as complaining about a certain company who rejected your application), asking for advice or resources to better your job search can certainly lead to better results.
6. Pages and groups are primary ways to keep up with your industry. By “liking” your ideal companies on Facebook, you can receive instant updates on news and job opportunities. Following industry news outlets or blogs is also helpful in keeping up with trends and current events. Better than that, “liking” your ideal company BEFORE applying and interacting with some of their posts first, may be the best way to get an ‘in’. Companies love to hire people who are already fans of their products. I know we do!
Do you use Facebook in your job search? How has it impacted your job search success?
Gerrit Hall is the CEO and co-founder of RezScore, a free web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes – instantly. Gerrit has successfully combined his passion for computer science and the careers space by helping job seekers write the best resume possible. You can connect with Gerrit and RezScore on Facebook and Twitter.