The social media juggernaut better known as Facebook is not just for kid pictures, political rants, and Harlem Shake videos. It can also be the best way for you to find a job or change jobs. If you don't take my word for it, just ask Facebook itself.
Think about it. The people in your Facebook network are supposedly your closest friends and family. These are the people who most want you to succeed, the ones who cheer your successes the loudest. They can’t help you though if you don’t let them know what you need. And according to CareerSonar, candidates referred by friends are 54 times more likely to be hired than those who applied through a job board.
So what's the best way to go about it? Start with these five steps:
1. Clean up your Facebook account. This includes rants and obscene language posted by you and others, pictures you shouldn’t be tagged in, and those afore mentioned political rants. Unless you want a job with a specific political party or candidate, you want to be neutral.
2. Post a suitable profile and cover picture. You don’t need to be in a business suit but you do need to look like someone I would hire and not a recently escaped convict.
3. Create a clean, professional profile and resume on LinkedIn, another free social media service. Make sure you have several people go over it to check your spelling and the overall professionalism.
4. Write a brief, to-the-point post. It should spell out you are looking for a job, appreciate any help, and post a link to that online resume you’ve just posted on LinkedIn.
5. Follow up with anyone who comments or offers help via Facebook private message, thanking him or her for the time. If additional information is requested, get it back to them within 24 hours. Or if there is a referral to someone else, follow up on that immediately as well.
The more friends and family members who know you are looking for a specific job or a job in a specific industry, the better chance you have of landing that job. And the bonus is that you never know who might be in their network. Speak up and get to work.
[Image: Flickr user Doug Wheller]