Once upon a time, Facebook was relegated to college campuses. Nowadays, everyone and their mom (literally) is on the social networking site.
And while LinkedIn may be the professional networking site, Facebook is steadily moving up on the list of places to find a new job thanks in part to its private groups.
According to The Muse, Facebook groups are a great place to learn about job openings and make professional connections. Personally, I’m a member of three private career-centric Facebook groups for women: SheSays Chicago, Ms. Tech and #Ambitionista.
It’s a safe place for like-minded individuals, in this case creatives, digital bosses and entrepreneurs, to share ideas, ask questions and, yes, find jobs. In SheSays alone, someone posts a job opening at least once a day.
But more importantly, these groups allow people to be real and ask questions we may not necessarily feel comfortable asking our real-life or Facebook friends. You can also crowdsource for everything from recommendations to best practices. Plus, it’s a fun place to network and make long-lasting connections! Plenty of these digital relationships end up developing offline with coffee dates, informational interviews and sometimes even friendships.
You’d be surprised how much you can learn about each other without the pressure of having a face-to-face conversation at an awkward networking event where people are only interested in how many business cards they can pass out. No, thank you.
Facebook groups are great because they’re less formal than LinkedIn where you feel like you always have to be “on.” While you should certainly remain professional, you don’t have to be so buttoned up. Think of this way: if LinkedIn is the Oscars, then Facebook is the MTV Video Music Awards (wait, do people still watch that?).
The key is to find a Facebook group related to your industry and contribute meaningful updates: whether it’s an opening at your company, a friend looking for a freelancer or a question about the latest software/program/social media site, etc. No one likes a voyeur and you get out what you put in, so don’t be afraid to speak up and who knows? It may just lead to your dream job.
Has a Facebook group helped you land a job or score a gig? Let us know in the comments!