You’re looking for a job. You’ve been scouring the internet for leads, spending hours on sites like Linkedin, Workopolis, and freelance.com. You’ve emailed off so many resumes your wrists hurt. You need a break.
You log into Facebook. The blue screen is comforting. All thoughts of job-searching dissipate when you see the familiar red notices in the top left-hand corner of your browser.
You spend thirty minutes (or an hour… or two hours) replying to messages and checking in on friends. You’re in social mode— and hey, weren’t you supposed to be looking for a job?
If this sounds familiar, then this post is for you.
If you’re turning off your business mindset when you log onto Facebook, you could be missing out on huge opportunities: Facebook is an untapped professional resource for finding career opportunities and for branding yourself for the job of your dreams.
Brand Your Social Space
The first thing you need to do is “professionalize” and brand your Facebook space. Ask yourself, How am I communicating myself on Facebook? What is the first impression an employer will have when perusing my photos or comments?”
Take your profile picture for example: what attitude does it put forward about you? What does it communicate? If it’s of your cat, you’re not saying anything about yourself except that you really like your cat, and unless you’re applying to PETA or a pet store, this just won’t do.
Your social presence should be clean—or not. It all depends on what you want to say…..
Think about it this way: every photo that is made public on Facebook helps to tell your personal brand story. If part of your professional brand includes that picture of you at your cottage with your five best friends, then leave it. If your professional brand also includes that picture of you upside-down underneath the keg surrounded by the three winners of the trans wet t-shirt contest, then sure, leave it— just as long as you know your audience.
If scrubbing your Facebook profile squeaky clean seems like a big task, don’t worry—there’s an app for that. Check out my earlier article on a new app that cleans your Facebook history.
Aim & Fire
After your social presence is ready to go, make a list of ten companies you’d like to work for. By now, it’s likely they have a Facebook company page that you can easily find using Facebook’s search bar. Check for any buzz about job openings and be on alert for new opportunities.
I’ve always said that finding the perfect job is like finding the perfect pair of jeans on sale—you have to shop around and check back often, so bookmark those company pages and revisit regularly.
If you don’t have time to wait, start asking. It’s not rude to ask on a company’s Facebook wall if they’re hiring, just be sure to engage with the brand as well: “Hey, love your social presence. Do you need help with x?” Start building rapport and getting your name out there.