If you’re serious about finding a job, one social site can help leverage the power of your network — and it’s not the one you think.
Here’s a quick quiz. I’ll give you three clues, you name the social network. Ready?
1.Your profile includes your headshot, skills and work experience and has space for a compelling, career-oriented bio.
2. Organizations are active on this network and have their own pages where they send updates and post jobs.
3. With more than a billion members, you can reach an average of more than 150,000 people through degrees of connections.
The answer is… Facebook.
Let me get one thing out of the way: I love LinkedIn. I’ve written about the network, talk about it all the time and log in at least three times every day. LinkedIn is my highest-recommended resource for networking and job searching today. If you’re looking to step up your career game, the Jobseeker posts on LinkedIn’s blog are a great resource and place to start.
But LinkedIn isn’t the only network out there that can propel your career forward. Facebook can also be a powerful tool, especially considering the number of people who already use it. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)
With Facebook’s Graph Search launch this year and its recent move to encourage users to complete the Professional Skills section on profiles, there are more ways than ever to leverage Facebook for your career. Here are just a few:
1. Complete the career-related areas of your Facebook profile
Make sure to fill in your Work and Education, About Me and Professional Skills sections. When you complete these areas, focus on keywords and phrases relevant to your industry.
And it’s time to remove that wild profile photo from your 21st birthday. Select an appropriate, friendly headshot instead. Make sure to update your Current City as well so recruiters or employers who search by geography can easily find you.
2. Jumpstart your professional networking with Graph Search
The search bar at the top of your Facebook page just got kicked into hyperdrive with Graph Search. Facebook claims Graph Search will help you find more of what you’re looking for through your friends and connections. They have it right.
Here are some sample searches I could run to find specific people who could help me in my job search:
Example search #1
I know the exact employer I want to work for, but I’m pretty sure none of my friends work there. I can expand that search to “friends of friends” in Graph Search to find contacts with whom my friends could help connect me.
Example search #2
I’m about to graduate college. I like my major, and I know I want to live in a specific city. Graph Search can show me who’s just an introduction away and can make the right connection.
Example search #3
Finally, let’s say I’m trying to discover a new path because of a budding interest. It might be good to tap my university alumni network to see if other people with the same passion have started expressing it professionally, too.
Fair warning: Like other Graph Searchers have noted, the search isn’t flawless. Not everyone has fully completed their education or career-related sections on Facebook. But give it a shot anyway. You just might be surprised by some of the possibilities and connections you find via Facebook.
3. Search for open jobs on the Social Jobs Partnership
Facebook has partnered with four organizations, including the US Department of Labor, to bring you the Social Jobs Partnership. The goal is to “facilitate employment for America’s jobless through the use of social networks.”
You can “like” the page and even explore the Social Jobs Partnership app, which allows you to search millions of job openings available through the partner job listing sites.
What do you think about Facebook as a resource for your career?
Kevin Grubb is a career and social media expert and was named a “Top GenY Careerist to Follow on Twitter” by Brazen Careerist. Learn more about Kevin at www.kevincgrubb.com.