One of my favorite jobs in college was working as a consultant for Microsoft.
A couple days each week I would visit some of Microsoft’s retailers and help train their staff on features, benefits, and other selling elements for their software and phones.
The pay was amazing and the job was flexible with school and my other part time jobs. Basically, it was a dream job for any college kid.
But if you were to ask how I got the job, you’d probably never believe me.
I found it on Facebook.
5 years later I have pretty much forgotten how amazing that opportunity was and how Facebook, of all places, had found my dream job. Not LinkedIn, not Careerbuilder, not even ASU where I was studying, but Facebook.
So it was a pleasant reminder and wake up call when I read Mashable’s article a few days ago called, 7 Reasons Why Recruiters Like Facebook More Than LinkedIn.
In the article, they surveyed recruiters who laid out, why they prefer Facebook over LinkedIn. And now, here I am thinking, “Wow, have I neglected one of the job seeker’s best networks all this time?” Possibly.
So What Did Recruiters Have to Say?
- It’s More Engaging. On LinkedIn recruiters have to actively seek out candidates and hope that they are either looking for a job, or are unhappy enough in their current position to consider working for them.
On Facebook, recruiters can use a “let them come to us mentality“. They can set up a business page, update it with openings and other interesting developments, and engage with the people who stop by. No more guess work.
- Facebook has the Millenials…and a Few Million More. Many of the Millenial generation who have recently, or are about to graduate from college, may have a LinkedIn profile, but is it updated?
Compare profiles and you can see which one gets most of the attention. Companies looking for young and fresh talent are more likely to find it on Facebook.
- It’s Free. If you want to find job seekers on LinkedIn you have to sign up for their recruiting solutions, which can cost you. And then, you have to do the work to find the talent.
On Facebook it doesn’t cost you a dime. To post your recruiting content such as testimonials, interviews, pictures, or videos, it’s all free. And even better, the talent comes to you.
Why You Need to Understand the Difference Between Facebook and LinkedIn When it Comes to Job Seeking?
Now we know recruiters “like” Facebook, ironic I know, so what can you do to take advantage of it?
It helps to start by understanding the difference between how recruiting happens on LinkedIn vs Facebook. If you treat them the same way, you can blow your opportunities.
Passive vs Active Talent
LinkedIn is good at finding “passive talent” meaning most of the people on LinkedIn aren’t actively looking for a job, but would take one if a better opportunity came their way. That requires the recruiter to do all the work of finding these ninja job seekers.
Facebook, on the other hand, is good at finding “active talent”. Here, recruiters wave their hands saying, “Hey I have a really cool opportunity, let us know if you want it” and people come running to them.
Public vs Private
LinkedIn, unlike Facebook, tends to be more public. Why on earth would you go through all the trouble of tailoring your profile to show how awesome you are at selling widgets, only to keep it hidden from everyone?
Recruiters are free to dive into your profile and comb through key words and anything else they want.
Facebook is much more private.
Recruiters rarely will see your full profile, especially with all the buzz about people losing their jobs for dumb posts or drunk pictures. No one wants to risk that.
So how do recruiters see any value in your profile, if they can’t see a thing?
They try to bribe you. What do I mean? Well…it’s all about advertising.
Remember how I told you I found my dream job on Facebook?
I didn’t all of a sudden see some stranger post on my wall, “Hey dude, want a job?” That’s what happens on LinkedIn, but this is Facebook, and on Facebook, we use ads.
So there I was, on a Saturday morning, eating my cereal and seeing what shenanigans my friends were up to when an ad next to my Facebook feed caught my attention.
It was a simple picture of Microsoft’s logo which said, “Microsoft is in Phoenix only for a few days…looking for marketers, apply now.” I dropped my bowl of Fruit Loops and applied that second.
The link took me to their application page, where I gave them my resume and answered their questions. I got invited to the interview a few days later and next thing I knew I was in Irvine, California training for the job.
Was it a coincidence I found the job?
Unless you’ve gone through the process of setting up a Facebook Ad you probably don’t know the power of their targeting. When you set up an ad, you can have it show up only to those in a certain city, age range, sex, education level, and more. You can even target people with certain interests.
What are “interests”? Facebook describes it saying, “Interest targeting allows advertisers to target users based on information they’ve provided in their profile (timeline). This includes listed likes and interests, the Pages they like, apps they use, and other profile (timeline) content they’ve provided”
So in my case, they probably targeted Phoenix, some age group including mine, and looked for marketing as an interest.
When I showed up for the interview, there were dozens of us who had come from this campaign, so it worked.
My point is, just because your security settings are set up like Fort Knox, doesn’t mean recruiters can’t find you. They just might have to give up a little “gold” first.
Job Boards vs Job Apps
LinkedIn being the professional’s social network, has its own job board for employers to share their openings. These are then shared on the home page of profiles that matched the recruiter’s descriptions.
Facebook, on the other hand, doesn’t have a hub for all the job openings that are being shared, but they do have apps for that. BeKnown, BranchOut, and CareerFriend are just a few apps that leverage your social connections on Facebook to help you find a job.
Some of these are quite amazing. For example, CareerFriend uses your Facebook friends’ employment information to find potential job opportunities within your network.
Come back to our career advice blog on Wednesday for a look at some of the best Job and Career Apps on Facebook.
So How Do I Take Advantage of Facebook?
Now that we know the difference and the strengths of Facebook when it comes to job searching, how can I optimize my Facebook for job finding?
1. Complete Your Profile and Show Some Interest
This goes back to the ads. Make it easy for companies to find you.
You might not think people need to know you live in Witchita, but if I had left off my home city, I could have very easily been disqualified for seeing the ad that led to my college dream job.
On top of that, make sure to like a few pages that fit your career field. I liked “Internet Marketing, Marketing, and Inbound Marketing” for that reason.
“But what about all the annoying streams you are going to see from them?”
Just hide them.
2. Tell a Story
Facebook recently updated your profile page so it has a new shiny “timeline”. It’s like a waterfall of all your major updates from today all the way back to when you first signed up.
Now why should you care what shows up here, I thought my security settings only show posts to friends anyways?
Well, kind of.
You see, that was the way Facebook worked before Google+ came along…and scared them.
Influential people like Dan Schawbel started sharing posts like this,
“Google+’s competitive advantage in the social network space is their domination of search. Facebook has a wall up so those updates are hard to find and now that Google’s syndication deal with Twitter is over, we will see Google+ impact search even more.”
And Facebook went, “Crap he’s right!”
You see, here’s what Dan meant by that.
Say you are trying to brand yourself as the world’s expert on sweater knitting. If you want to show off your latest photos of what you’ve knit, post some tips, or publish videos to Facebook, basically the only people who were ever going to see it were your friends.
Not only that, now when people search on Google for “kitten sweaters” they can actually see your post from your Google+ stream, find out how cool you are, and start following you.
So Facebook saw this and went, “Shoot, let’s make it so people can choose to share each post publicly or privately too.”
But what does this have to do with telling a story?
Well, now that we can pick and choose what everyone can see and what only friends can see, it would be wise to share some things publicly that would demonstrate why you would make a good employee.
Employers will be able to see that you read articles about the industry, contribute through your blog, or make helpful videos. That’s good, they want to see that. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to the greater masses, even on Facebook.
3. Get Subscribed
When you look at your Friends list you probably see a few people you haven’t talked to since high school, your Grandma, and then maybe a few actual real life friends. In Facebook they all got treated the same. What you wanted your friends to see… your rocking Grandma also saw.
Google solved this problem with Circles, and Facebook soon followed with Subscriptions.
Anyone who’s used Twitter is already familiar with the way Subscriptions work. Basically you follow someone you may or may not know in real life, and you start seeing their public posts. You see their stuff, they don’t see yours.
So how does this help you get a job?
Recruiters can subscribe to you and also see how many people already follow you as a subscriber.
So, say a recruiter is looking to hire a finance expert. One candidate has a steady stream of great finance articles they have both read and written, as well as 100 subscribers.
The next candidate has a blank public wall and no subscribers.
Who is going to leave a bigger impression?
4. Like Companies You Want to Work For
How many of you check job boards consistently for new openings? Probably never. How often do you check your Facebook? 3 times a day?
Many companies post their fresh job openings on their Facebook. Many times, getting the job is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Following a few of the companies you are interested in joining, can give you an advantage in getting your dream position.
What Are Your Thoughts?
I hope this sheds a bit more light on the topic. With all the changes happening in the social media world, it’s hard to keep up.
As always these are my personal experiences and opinions.
Have you found job opportunities on Facebook? Or Has LinkedIn been more effective for you? Are you doing the right things to find and get jobs on Facebook?
image courtesy of buzzom