Job Search Using Facebook… Really?

We have all heard the stories of someone who got fired because of a Facebook post or picture.  Whether it is a status update about how much you hate your job, a less than professional picture or even that you simply went against company policy and were using Facebook during company time; it is pretty well known today that Facebook can do more damage than good to your career and your reputation.  But what if there was a way to leverage your image and marketability using Facebook?  Could there really be a way to use Facebook to your advantage when you find yourself in a job search situation?

Of course there is!!!

You don’t need to shut down your Facebook page during a job search… but you should probably think about turning your privacy settings on for your personal profile and doing what is possible to hide some of those drunk pictures from last year’s camping trip.  It is always a good idea to be mindful that EVERY status update and post you provide will have an impact on someone.  I suggest that even if your privacy settings are high, you try to make sure every status update is positive and will always leverage yourself in a good way.  Basically, my motto is if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it.

On the other hand, instead of trying to hide yourself completely on Facebook, why not try and use this ever so popular social media tool to your advantage?  Use your status update to network to your friends that you are in the job market.  You can get creative with this; don’t just say you are looking for work.  Market your skills; tell your friends what type of industry you work in and what type of job you are seeking. Don’t just complain about how tough the job market is or how down on your luck you are.  Be positive in every update you provide.  You will be surprised how likely people are to help you out in a bind – it is human nature to want to help others in need.  But people don’t really want to go out on a limb and help if all you post is negative status updates.  I am not suggesting you update your status every minute or every day with your job achievements or goals, but once a week you could easily provide a little update on your progress or a friendly reminder that you are a “highly skilled and motivated professional seeking opportunities for growth in the administrative assistant industry”.

But let’s take it a step further: what if you went beyond just updating your friends with your job search progress and actually created a page open to the public about yourself.  You could use the cover picture to highlight some of your key competencies, and the profile picture should be a professional image of you.  Take advantage of the About section and every other tool available to you.  Strategically use your timeline to your advantage with dates for graduation and even a picture of you in your cap and gown standing beside grandma.  Include dates of presentations or workshops attended.  Turn your current resume into a jpeg. image and include it is in your photos. There are a number of ways to be creative using this page to showcase who you are and what you have to offer an employer.  Take some time to play around and find a way to stand out from the competition!  Use this page to leverage your online reputation in a positive light.  Once the page is completed, you will want to get people to like your page.  This is the easy part…. Share the page with your friends and ask them to like your page.

Generally, people will have no problem with this and you will easily be able to get 30 or more likes.  Then your social reach can expand because their friends will see the page, and so on and so forth.  Eventually you will be marketing your highly desirable skills to thousands and thousands of people and just maybe you will find out about a job opportunity using the hidden job market to your advantage.  If nothing else, you have ensured that when a prospective employer searches for you on Facebook, they see nothing but positive achievements and a determined person!

Be creative and use social media to your advantage…

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