For most, Facebook can be a real time waster—one minute you're browsing your friend's photos from Costa Rica, the next thing you know an hour and a half has gone by and you've wound up watching the latest viral "Call Me Maybe" parody someone posted from YouTube. Oh, and apparently 88 percent of Facebook users spend a good amount of time stalking an ex, according to a recent Western University study.
While Facebook is undeniably fun (and a little addictive) for personal use, it's also a great job-search tool. After all, it's the world's largest social network and contains untapped resources for professional use as well. It's all about how you use it.
Here are six steps to leveraging Facebook to land a job:
1. Create a separate professional account. Although Facebook offers lists and customizable privacy controls, the best way to make sure that no unnecessary personal information slips through the cracks is to create a new professional profile dedicated to your job search.
Make sure you use the same professional photo as your LinkedIn account to create a more consistent, memorable presence online. After all, the first thing hiring managers and recruiters do is probe the Web to see if they can find dirt on you. Keep your personal profile off the grid and make your professional profile completely public.
2. Download job search apps. Now that you have a separate account, you can freely take advantage of Facebook job-searching applications without worrying about using your personal account to login. Some popular job-searching apps include "Marketplace," "BranchOut," and "BeKnown." Each of these has a solid following and job listings. You can find them simply by searching the name in your Facebook search bar.
3. Join groups in your area. For instance, for those interested in the business field, groups like Entrepreneurs and Professionals Network, Web 2.0 Entrepreneurs, and Entrepreneur Magazine all have a solid following, filling the feed with industry news, links to free webinars, and other resources. For someone interested in landing a job in the healthcare industry, HCareers is a great, insightful group. Google your industry along with the term "Facebook groups" to see what's out there for you.