Weighing in at 325 million users, Facebook is the world’s largest social online network. Unlike LinkedIn and Twitter, a lot of people treat Facebook as a place for their families and friends and not business contacts. But it’s now attracting a growing population of baby boomers and networkers. As a result, the rules of job searching on Facebook are much different than other networks. Here’s my advice on how to use the site to take your brand to the next level.
1. Complete your entire profile and put emphasis on the “Education and Work” section, where you can post your professional resume.
2. Review your Facebook contacts to see what audience you are currently attracting (friends, family, colleagues, etc.).
3. Divide your friends into groups in order to set up privacy settings, so some groups will have limited access to what they can see on your page.
4. Join Facebook fan pages and groups that reflect your career interests, and post on them at least once a week. Many employers have pages, such as Ernst & Young, Microsoft and Boston Scientific.
5. Use other social networks and blogs to connect with people who work at companies in which you’re interested, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Ning.
6. Once you build a rapport with these contacts, add them as friends, with custom introductions referencing how you know them.
7. Pay attention to their updates, and then reach out to them with Facebook messages.
8. Research your friends’ networks to find people with whom you should connect, and ask for an introduction.
Remember — build a relationship. If you just add random people and then bombard them with messages, it’s an invasion of their privacy.
—Dan Schawbel is the leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y and author of “Me 2.0.” Follow him on Twitter@DanSchawbel.
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