Your Facebook Resume

Is social networking replacing classified ads and websites for job hunting?

For over a century the number one way to look for a job was the newspaper classifieds help wanted or employment section. Then along came the Internet and job posting websites and classified sites such as Craigslist which have come into their own in the last decade.

Now we have entered the next phase: Social networking. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn among others, are how many people now communicate. If you are still scanning through job after job on Craigslist or searching other job posting sites you might soon be as behind as the newspaper has become.

Today you can get information about job openings before they are ever advertised on the traditional job and classified type websites and quickly establish connections with employers through social networking. If you are not taking the time to learn the new ways companies are finding employees and hiring, you are behind the times and at a huge disadvantage.

Your Facebook Resume Page

Start with a professional page on Facebook. Setting up a separate page solely for your job search is an option if you already have a personal Facebook page. You don't want prospective employers to see your personal information if possible. Be aware that you have to use an entirely different name to set up the account; if you have two pages under the same name, readers will be able to see both pages.

Facebook, like other networking websites, allows you to enter about as much or as little information about your education and career history as you want to; for job hunting take advantage of this option and treat this section of your profile as a resume. There are character limits, and although they are fairly high, they work to help you keep your information concise. List your education history first, then your work history, both in chronological order from the most recent to the earliest. Education below high school does not need to be listed in this section, though many people belong to personal groups of people from their particular elementary schools, which would be listed on the information page.

Status updates during your job search let others know that you are looking for employment. Avoid making unprofessional or negative comments. Your updates should share things such as the jobs you are seeking and queries about specific companies. Asking questions here demonstrates that you are interested in a particular field and that you are detail-oriented enough to research a company before contacting them about a position. Make your updates thought-provoking and original and avoid posting any personal information, such as "doctor's appointment for skin rash today." Potential employers do not need to know your personal information and some things might count against you.

Join the Facebook profiles or fan pages of companies you are interested in working for. This can increase your chances of getting an interview as businesses are realizing how many people are on Facebook and are beginning to use the site as a way to find qualified candidates. By getting on their friend lists or "liking" their pages, you will often receive notices of job openings before the jobs are ever advertised on the old classified type websites. In addition, becoming a member of other groups that complement the company can exhibit that you are indeed interested in working for that company or one in the same industry.

You can also do a Facebook search for job sites, which will direct you to some of the most popular online job search engines, and tell you how you can connect with companies via their Facebook (or other social networking sites) page. Again, visiting a company's page will allow you to explore their business philosophy, what positions are open within the company, and what qualifications are required to be hired for the position. Also listed on the page will be links to the company's homepage and, most likely, the hiring or personnel department.

Job hunting today is about being proactive and getting exposure. Your Facebook resume and social networking job hunt can land you a better job and much sooner than the traditional hunt and peck methods. You can see more in my book "How to Use Facebook to Get a Job" available on my website about interview questions. Copyright 2011 by Phil Baker.