Can Facebook Help You Find a Job?

» Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in coaching, job search | Comments Off on Can Facebook Help You Find a Job?

Can Facebook Help You Find a Job?

There’s so much talk about companies and recruiters using social media to research and disqualify candidates, I’m always interested when I see recruiters using social media for positive purposes – to help place people in jobs. Recent buzz about using Facebook’s OpenGraph to search and find candidates intrigued me. It’s not yet the most robust tool: many people don’t provide the information on Facebook that would make searching powerful, such as their job titles, employer names, and university degrees.  I doubt recruiters are going to abandon LinkedIn and rush to Facebook, but I do imagine they will use the information on Facebook to supplement their current recruiting process.

Which means…if you’re a job seeker, now’s a good time for you to stand out from the crowd! Given that many people don’t provide professional information on Facebook, it’s easier for you to show up in search results if you do.

If you’re a job seeker, and you have interesting and thoughtful posts on your Facebook page that place you in a positive light and wouldn’t embarrass you or your current employer, this means you have a choice – you can enhance your Facebook profile information so that you are more searchable and easier to find. Your other choice? Don’t update any relevant information and continue to use Facebook for only personal use. And up your privacy settings! Because companies are looking at your page when you apply for jobs.

Ready to make your profile more searchable and professional? First, place yourself in the recruiter mindset – what are recruiters thinking when they launch a search for candidates? What fields are they searching, what keywords are they using? This is also your opportunity to remove or hide the items in your profile you don’t want to be searched – such as religious and political views, or relationship status.

First I’m going to recommend you watch a video that shows recruiters how to use FaceBook OpenGraph to find candidates. This will really help you understand how someone looking to fill a job might find you.

I promise, it’s 30 minutes of your time that will not be wasted. And the guy has a plummy accent, so it’s fun to listen to.

Here’s some examples of searches he talked about during the video:

  • People who currently work at CompanyName
  • People who currently live in City
  • People who used to live in City
  • JobTitle who used to work at CompanyName and live in City
  • Accountants who ever worked at KPMG (make sure to look at suggestions)
  • Accountants who have visited Seattle, WA
  • Accountants who have ever worked at PwC and live in Seattle, WA and like music
  • Software engineers who have ever worked at Microsoft and live in Seattle, WA

Those examples can give you a good idea of what recruiters will be searching on. You can see job titles, employer names, cities of residence, check-ins and likes all come into play.

Interested in making your Facebook profile more search-friendly? Here’s how:

  1. Click the About or Update Info button on your Facebook Timeline.
  2. Edit the information in the Work and Education section. Pay special attention to job titles, current and previous employer names, and education, using both your school name and degree. Make sure the information is available to the Public.
  3. Edit your Basic information to remove year of birth, marital status, religious and political views, if desired. Or you can change the Privacy setting to Only Me.
  4. Update your Contact information with a phone number and/or email address (not the default Facebook email address). If you’re worried about SPAM, set up an email specifically for this purpose using Gmail or Hotmail.
  5. Update your Likes to include groups, websites, companies, businesses and pages you like related to your profession (think potential employers, professional associations, state boards of certification, certification bodies, etc.)

The last thing you’ll need to do is check your Privacy settings. Facebook has a great Help article on Graph Privacy Settings here. If you want people to find you when they use the Graph search, you’ll need to change your settings to Public (instead of Friends or Only Me) in the appropriate sections.

Good luck job searching!


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Please visit my Expecting Change Facebook page for ongoing discussions about careers.

Andrea Ballard, Career Coach

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