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How to find a job with Facebook

Facebook isn’t just for uploading drunken cottage pictures and stalking ex-boyfriends online anymore—it is now a legitimate tool for advancing one’s career.

(Photo: Peter Dazeley)

Facebook isn’t just for uploading drunken cottage pictures and stalking ex-boyfriends online anymore—it is now a legitimate tool for advancing one’s career.

The Robert Half Professional Employment Report report said that 43% of HR managers said  that it’s at least somewhat likely that traditional resumes will eventually be replaced by profiles on social and business networking sites.

The Globe and Mail ran an article yesterday about how social media can be used as a recruiting tool.  The article mentions two companies, High Road Communications and Kobo Inc. that use social media, including Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook, to find and hire new staff.

Those aren’t the only companies that are replacing online job boards and traditional ads with social media headhunting. Facebook is the “opposite of a time waster,” according to Chris Nguyen, co-founder of and social media expert.  He wrote in his Facebook status that he was looking for a salesperson, and found one in three days. Another time he was looking for a developer and within a week had filled the position. Both instances were cases of second-degree separation where a friend had passed along the job opportunity to another friend.

Using Facebook to hunt for staff allows for a more targeted job search and the odds are better at getting quality applicants than with a free-for-all Internet classified ad. The main benefit for Nguyen was that the applicant was coming from trusted source. Beyond that, it’s also cheaper than traditional methods. “If this was [before social media] I’d take out an expensive ad in the newspaper,” Nguyen said.

So what are his tips if you’re trying to use Facebook to land a position?

1. Filter information
View your Facebook primarily as representing you professionally, instead of socially. You are the brand, and your Facebook profile should reflect that. That means try to eliminate the party photos or anything else that might make you seem childish.

2. Be open
Although you don’t necessarily want to lay your entire life out on the internet, you do want to put information out there that can foster professional relationships. That means your real name, your work and your hobbies. You never know what will be needed to spark a connection with a future employer—like if you both share an interest in rock climbing. Don’t be afraid of expressing your interests.

3. Engage
Don’t just create a page and forget about it. Facebook relationships, just like real relationships, require upkeep. Nguyen suggests you post newspaper articles you’re interested in and comment frequently on friends’ posts. Friends are going to stop writing on your wall or commenting on your status updates if you never return in kind. The more you cultivate your network, the more it will blossom.

4. Get literate
If you’re unsure what Facebook etiquette is, or how to create and update an account ask the young intern at your office or a niece who’s good on the computer. It’s also important to learn the different settings that Facebook offers. That way you can do technical things like set privacy controls so that you control who sees specific parts of your profile—like pictures you only want family members to view.