Social media systems are more prevalent than ever, providing us with many ways to communicate and connect online. While some, like LinkedIn, are marketed specifically for professional profiles, others, like Facebook, have been focused on more casual connections – until now.
Last week Facebook, launched the Social Jobs App, officially taking it from just a social site to one that can also be used for career networking. The application was developed through collaboration between Facebook, the U.S. Department of Labor, DirectEmployers Assocation, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
According to a survey conducted by NACE, “half of employers (50%) are using Facebook in their hiring process.” And “nearly 90% of companies stated that Facebook has decreased the amount of print advertising needed … making [it] a cost effective way to find new talent.” The NACE survey also found that of employers using the platform, “the number one suggestion by recruiters is for candidates using Facebook to ‘Like’ a desired company’s page, followed by using Facebook as a networking tool.”
For Facebook users who are also involved in or planning a job search, this new tool could be a helpful addition to their overall strategy.
What You Can Expect
The Social Jobs app is currently advertising over 1.9 million job listings, with a goal to “make it easier for people on Facebook to find and share employment opportunities.” The new app features the following components:
- Searchable job listings: You can search the available jobs by keyword, location, category (e.g., Medical / Health / Social) and sub-category (e.g., EMT, dental assistant, pharmacy). You can also check a box to screen for jobs that have been identified as “veteran-friendly.”
- Recruiting partnerships: Once you’ve entered your search criteria as described above, you can use the tabs provided (see screenshot below) to view any matches in the five current partner databases: Jobvite, US.jobs, Monster, BranchOut, and Work4Labs.
- Online applications: You can apply for these jobs directly through your Facebook account, which may also include links to the partners’ apps (e.g., BranchOut).
- Social sharing: Once you’ve selected a job announcement you are interested in, you’ll also see opportunities to post it to your Facebook wall, Tweet the job link, share it with a Facebook friend or group, etc.
Before you try it out …
To conduct a search of the job listings you don’t need to provide any information about yourself or even be logged into your Facebook account. However, if you want to apply for the jobs through the system, or if you want to “Like” a listing or send it to a friend, you’ll need to be logged in.
While it’s unclear what information these employers will be able to access about your profile, assume that there is a connection and they’ll be able to view details about you. If you are considering this app, now is the time to review your account use, starting with these steps:
- Check your account’s privacy settings: This platform is notorious for tweaking policies and settings without giving users notice, so it’s a good idea to log in and make adjustments on a regular basis. Also review Facebook’s data use policy for more information on how they share the data you provide in your profile.
- Proactively manage your digital identity: Managing your digital identity is only becoming more important as we live more of our lives online. If you are not currently looking for a job, this app may not be for you, but it does prompt the question: what does your online presence look like? How are you using Facebook and how does it fit in with all of the other social networking accounts you may be using? Don’t take on more accounts than you can actively maintain and keep up-to-date.
- Set up ground rules for your social media job search: Adding Facebook to your efforts may help you uncover new leads and meet influential recruiters, but it may mean a strategy shift moving forward, especially if you haven’t used Facebook for professional purposes in the past. Identify how you’ll use the new app in addition to other techniques, online and offline.
If you are like many people who are active online, including myself, you may rely on LinkedIn to serve as your hub for career and professional information, while keeping Facebook more friend and family-oriented. Early reviews of this new way to find and apply for jobs are mixed with complaints of slow response times for searches and incomplete or limited job listings available from the partner databases.
Watch for updates, additions to the system’s capabilities are anticipated after users get more familiar with the job board and provide feedback for improvement. This new feature does show promise, but only time will tell if it is able to compete with or replace the more established LinkedIn platform.
Have you tried the Social Jobs App? Tell us more about your experience with the system.
Image credit: pshab, Flickr, CC:BY-NC