Facebook can be as powerful a tool for finding work as LinkedIn and Indeed, whether you’re searching for a job or looking for your next client. Facebook communities (or groups) are a source for job opportunities, career trends and advice, and professional support.
Like searching for the ideal job, your search for the Facebook groups that are the right fit for your needs requires a time commitment and research. Here are some tips for finding career-related Facebook communities that offer the best benefits for your job search and career development.
Tip 1: Search Keywords Related to Your Career
The search for Facebook communities that fit your needs is proactive and reactive. Sometimes Facebook suggests groups you might be interested in based on your past searches and comments on Facebook pages.
Another way to find communities is to type keywords related to your career and then search “communities”. Facebook will list several groups that it thinks are the best match. For example, if you are a self-employed copywriter, you could search “marketing,” “writing,” “freelance,” or “copywriter.”
Specific keyword search terms may not provide you with as many search results, so broader terms such as “marketing” may give you more community listings.
After creating a list of possible groups, read the community description to see if it fits your needs. Is it a group for copywriters to provide advice to other copywriters? Is it a group that allows job postings or self promotion of what you do?
How many members are in the group? How frequently do group members post in one week? Larger groups with active members and frequent posting generally have more value than groups with a handful of members and one post a month.
Finally, check the group’s location. A group may have members from all over the world, or it may focus on a particular country or city. If you are searching for jobs in one location, a group for a specific city may be a better fit. If you’re interested in remote work, a group with members from around the world may be the group you’re looking for.
Tip 2: Look for Career Advice, Job Postings, and Best Practices
The best Facebook groups for career opportunities have three features.
First, the group offers job opportunities that are vetted. The moderator(s) check that the job posting seems legitimate, with the salary (or salary range), name of the company, description of the role, and contact person listed. In some cases, a minimum wage (for the industry) is required for post approval to ensure the job meets wage standards.
Second, the group members are supportive. Members ask for advice on various topics, such as dealing with a bad client or boss, checking that their work contract is legit, suggesting improvements to resumes, and other career-related questions. Supportive members offer their advice in a constructive, insightful, and non-judgemental way.
Third, the group conversations are monitored by the community monitors. They check that people don’t spam other people’s posts (such as advertising a bitcoin opportunity when the poster asked for advice on a job situation), giving unwanted opinions on a poster’s situation, or DMing (PMing) a poster without permission.
Some Facebook groups with thousands of members have received positive opinions from members who have been happy hiring people from within the group (after getting their resume or portfolio).
Group members also refer each other after seeing posts and replies from other members over time. For example, if an accountant is repeatedly recommended in a group – that person is likely someone people should consider working with.
Tip 3: Connect with People in the Same Industry
Facebook communities allow members to get to know each other over time. This is possible with LinkedIn groups as well.
Local Facebook groups have in-person events where you can network with local business owners in the same group or industry. Nation-wide or international groups often have virtual events with the opportunity to network and listen to presentations on business topics.
These events are a great way to find a future employer or client. Attending regular events builds relationships, and people become familiar with what services or products members offer. Over time, people may refer members to potential employers or customers. These referrals are as effective as references.
Tip 4: Update Your Profile for Your Job Search
Think of your Facebook profile as a resume. When connecting with potential employers or clients on Facebook, you want to be presentable. Your profile photo can be a casual snapshot of you hugging your cat.
However, you may want to draw a boundary between casual and too revealing. You may want to avoid publicly sharing some of your photos. What photos you would consider private depends on the job you are applying for and how much of your private life you want to share with professional connections. Use your discretion. Some people are very private and don’t like to share family photos with strangers.
Others like to use their Facebook accounts to promote themselves and what they do. For example, they may post a photo of a convention or work event that they attended. Or they may post updates on upcoming events where they will be presenting or post a product their company is selling.
If you’re going to be active in Facebook communities for professional connections, check what you’re sharing publicly. What you’re comfortable sharing depends on how public you want your life to be.
Facebook is a less formal way to connect with people for potential job search opportunities to find work, connect with people in the industry, and get advice from people already working. Many people have commented that they have found jobs and clients after connecting with members in Facebook groups.
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