Yes the words work and Facebook do sound like a contradiction in term; some offices have even banned Facebook for being the ultimate time waste application (back to Solitaire everyone). During the last few years we have learned how one can easily get fired by using Facebook, all you have to do is update your status with how much you loathe your boss or publicly post pictures from last weekend’s shenanigans portraying you slightly worse for wear. Let me now pose a much more intriguing question; is it possible to land a job using Facebook? Surely not you say, let’s investigate I say.

Stats first; we are looking at 300 million active users on Facebook (about the population of the United States). Facebook is ranked the 2nd most popular Internet site by Alexa, just behind Google. The users on Facebook spend 20 minutes per day on the site, whereas the average for any website is roughly 10 seconds. So we know there are shed loads of people on Facebook, it’s very popular and users tend to spend a lot of time on the site.

Now let’s crack on with the 5 ways to use Facebook to get hired:

1) Networking:

With the stats fresh in mind, we can assume that most of your colleagues and business partners will be on Facebook. Furthermore, we can assume that recruiters and prospective new employers (hiring mangers, HR people) will be on Facebook. This gives you a unique opportunity to network yourself to whoever is hiring at the moment.

Everyone expects to get contacted via Twitter but Facebook is not a professional network, and therefore you contacting somebody professionally could actually help you stand out from the crowd. I know sales people that use Facebook exactly this way as they can get through, whereas Linkedin ships hundreds of messages every week to buyers. As long as you tread carefully, this tactic will work.

Let’s say you identify a company that is recruiting, now find out who the hiring manager is. Then check for friends or friends of friends in common, in order to get referred to people working for the company or even the hiring manager direct. Contact this person with your best spiel and take it from there.

2) Status Updates:

facebook use to find jobsThe most obvious way to use Facebook for a job hunt is to update your status with your current situation and what you are looking for. Friends, family, old colleagues, long-time-no-speak acquaintances are all there to help you. People want to help others, it’s in human nature. You will be delighted at how much support and help you’ll get. Bear in mind that another human trait is forgetting, so you best keep updating your network and giving them the latest on your job hunt and thus staying in the forefront of their minds.

3. Facebook marketplace:

Craigslist, Gumtree and other online marketplaces are simple tools that can be very useful for your job hunt. Have you tried Facebook marketplace? Have a look through your local marketplace for job listings, you will be able to see a description and also who posted the job. You can now either apply or contact the person behind the position for more information. Facebook’s marketplace may not be as comprehensive as other marketplaces but that can benefit you as there is likely to be less competition for any roles posted there.

4) Join and get active in groups:

The groups on Facebook are just like Linkedin groups, a place to discuss and post news about a particular topic, industry or interest. You can add value to the group by joining in or starting discussions, posting links and other resources to the wall, moderating or managing sections of the group and so on. Once you have had a few conversations with people, send a friend invitation and they are likely to accept as you now know each other, albeit only online. The objective here is to network with and get noticed by others in your industry, this could lead to you being considered for upcoming job opportunities even before they are posted.

5) Posting ads:

It’s really simple to set up an ad campaign on Facebook. You can put a short ad together and link it to your bio. You can then pick what demographics you want to target and your maximum spend per day, minimum $1. The more specific you can make it the better, you only want the right people clicking through as you pay per click. These ads are likely to render some interest in yourself and may or may not lead to your dream job but it’s certainly another way to reach out.

Conclusion:

Can you really get a job with Facebook? Well, let’s just say it’s not going to overtake Linkedin anytime soon on that front. But if you spend time on there anyway, why not turn it into something productive. Add it to you social media job searching strategy along with LinkedIn, Twitter and any other platform you use. Another weapon in your job hunting arsenal is not going to hurt.

Have you used Facebook for job searching and how did it go?

More on Facebook at How To Find Jobs on Facebook (Infographic).

photo by: Robert Scoble

The original Undercover Recruiter, after 7 years in tech recruiting Jorgen now runs Link Humans, a social media agency in London.