Posted by Brian McCullough
I’ve posted several times about how the idea of job search networking can seem nebulous and confusing to people. “Ok, I understand that I send in my resume and hopefully they call me for an interview. But how exactly do I network?”
For years we’ve told our clients, “Tell everyone you know… everyone… every friend you have, every person you meet on the street… about your job search.” We even sold networking cards for a while (little snippets of your resume on a business card).
So, let’s touch on something that should be obvious to anyone in the modern world: social networking sites like Facebook can help you with your job search. I actually hadn’t explored this too much in a hands on, practical level, but I decided to test out some strategies.
And, just by dipping my toe in the water, I’ve gotten some immediate results. I think I’ve hit on a really, REALLY basic strategy for using Facebook to help in your job search. It’s something anyone with a Facebook account can start doing immediately.
And it might seem obvious to the point of stupidity, but hear me out:
Basically, the strategy is really simple.
Diary your job search in your Facebook status update.
I just took three recent clients we were working with and had them each keep posting about their job search on their Facebook status updates.
Applied to 3 positions today? Ok, put that on your update.
Interview with a company today? Ok, put that on your update.
It seems really simple and maybe a little obvious, but it worked. And right away. 2 of the 3 clients have already found new positions and the 3rd got at least one good interview out of it.
The key seems to be to include details. Don’t just say, “Brian is looking for a job.” Say: “Brian is looking for an accounting job in the Toledo area.” Don’t just say you applied to 3 jobs today, say: “Brian just sent resumes to Proctor and Gamble, Dell and Monsanto.”
That’s the beauty of networking… you never know what little nugget of information will lead to a connection.
Specific case in point (names changed for privacy reasons): One of our clients started doing regular status updates on his job search. For 2 weeks he kept at it. At this point most of his friends probably got the message: OK. Dave is looking for a job. And yet, still nothing turned up… aside from some encouraging words and a tip here or there. But nothing solid.
But then one day last week he mentioned on his status update that he had applied to a local university. And he mentioned that university by name.
It turned out some Facebook Friend was married to a woman who worked at the university. It further turned out she could expedite his application by making a personal recommendation (and earn a referral bounty to boot). The client said to me in an email:
It’s not like everyone didn’t already know I was looking for a job. It’s just that Kevin didn’t think far ahead enough to help me out. His first thought was “Well, there’s no job I know of that I can turn him on to.” It didn’t occur to him I might apply for work at the U and so it didn’t occur to him to tell me his wife who I’ve never actually met worked at the U and might be able to get me an in. It was the status update that sort of put the lightbulb up over his head.
I’ve experienced this sort of thing before myself. Once, when we were having a technical server issue, I posted randomly on my Facebook status update: “Brian is confused by PCI compliance.” Turns out, one of my good friends from college (who I knew was in IT… vaguely) was someone who SPECIFICALLY did PCI compliance for a living. And so he helped me out. It hadn’t occurred to me to ask him for help. He hadn’t know I NEEDED help. But the randomness of the network made the connection anyway.
So, my advice is basically that: immediately start posting every boring detail of your job search. Do it every day.
Because the other key part of this strategy seems to be persistence. Drill it into people’s heads. You can’t know what little nugget of information might provide a lead, so you just gotta keep putting nuggets out there.
Won’t your friends get tired of hearing about you and your lonely job search?
Sure. But they’re probably already tired of hearing about how your daughter is sick again or about the coffee you spilled on yourself during the drive in to work today.
So, even if it seems a little obvious and simple (You mean social networking might lend itself to networking in general? Gee, Brian, you’re a genius!) if you haven’t started sharing your job search with your friends and family on Facebook, maybe you should start doing so.
- The Quickest Job Search- Find Your Next Job When You’re Not Looking For One
- Coming To A Corporate Server Near You- Facebook!
- When Your Boss Is On Facebook
- Quick Job Search Tip- Use A Stock Screener To Find Out Who’s Hiring
- Most Employers Block Facebook and Myspace
- What People Are Forwarding Us This Week- Facebook Gotcha Edition