Before you join the conversation, be aware of the image you project to potential employers or anybody that can help you meet potential employers. It is important to know how to manage your personal branding on Facebook in order to maximize your chances to be hired via the social network.
Where are the conversations?
Conversations are everywhere, on people’s walls, in private messages, on event walls, on picture comments, ect. The important thing is to have a strategy. There is so much happening on Facebook, it can be overwhelming. Stay focused. What do you want to do with Facebook? Find a job? Ok. What kind of job? In a certain field? A certain position? Write it down on a post-it and stick it on your monitor, because Facebook can be quite distracting.
Use the Search Function
Look for groups related to the field that interests you. Some Facebook groups are even dedicated to certain professions. If you have a certain company in mind that you would like to work for, search for the company’s group.
Join the Conversation!
Talk to the people on the group’s wall. If there are no conversation (which is very likely for most groups), look up the members in the group and send them private messages. Facebook groups are a gold mine of resources.
Initiating Conversations Through Private Messages
How you approach these people is very important. There is a certain etiquette you must follow. Nobody likes to be solicited and you don’t have time to waste. Here are a few suggestions:
- Be genuine, honest and transparent.
- Introduce yourself and state your intentions.
- Be aware that you are entering somebody else’s private space and be respectful. I like to mention where or how I stumbled on their profile, i.e., that you saw they are members of a certain group or they listed their job in their profile. This introduction doesn’t need to be more than 2 or 3 sentences.
- Explain your situation and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Suggestions to consider: Ask about the best ways to get a foot in the door in their field. Ask if they can suggest resources or organizations for you to explore for information. Ideally, mention something that you have learned about them that you admire or make a connection. (For example, “I see you attended the University of Illinois; so did I!” or, “I read your article about ______ and was thrilled to find you on Facebook.”) Be sure to offer something in return. (I produce podcasts as a hobby, and I’d be happy to share my expertise if you’re interested.) Limit yourself to 1 or 2 questions per message.
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