There was a time that college graduates spiffed up their resumes, printed them out, and searched the local papers for job opportunities. Then Monster.com came along and resume submission became easier as graduates applied for jobs online. Recently, the popularity of social media has added another layer to the graduate job search. Graduates need as many tools in their job search arsenal as are available to position themselves in today’s competitive job market.

Facebook is another of those tools. Facebook has more than 300 million active users which translates to a huge audience of potential employers and networking connections. Since many businesses who recognize Facebook’s power have already created a presence on Facebook, you can make key connections with the company; not to mention recruiters are scouring social media sites for potential employees. However, recognizing Facebook’s part in the job search is just the beginning. As with any job search tool, you must familiarize yourself with its use.

Clean up your profile

Look at your pictures, comments and posts. If you have been using Facebook as a personal page, these things don’t matter; but if you begin to use it as a professional job search page, they matter a great deal. Be smart and remember that the web never forgets. Before you make a post, ask yourself whether or not that post would position you as a eligible job candidate or disqualify you as someone who is employable.

Work on your profile

Find a professional looking photo for your image and use it. Remember that your profile will in a sense, become your resume. If you’re using Facebook for the job search, make sure your profile is complete, highlighting your assets, your job and/or work experience, a blog if you have one, your LinkedIn connection page, and your Twitter account.

Use Facebook applications

There are a number of Facebook applications targeted to job seekers. Take advantage of those tools and add them to your Facebook strategy.

Consider using Facebook ads

Many job seekers have spent money on a resume service, paid for a recruiter or headhunter, or subscribed to a targeted job search site. Why not consider using Facebook ads? Facebook allows you to target ads specifically and they are not that expensive. Landing a job is all about standing out in the applicant pool. Consider targeting a specific company with a very specific ad. This technique will at the very least start a conversation and allow you to make some key networking contacts.

Use the Marketplace

This is not a widely used tool, but deserves your attention. Marketplace has a section that lists available jobs and allows you to connect directly with the person responsible for the posting.

Search, engage and network

Use Facebook’s search tool to find people, pages, groups and links allowing you to engage key people and make those valuable connections. It’s all about building relationships that will help you find the right job. Read posts, comment and use the link capabilities to post articles and videos related to your field of expertise. Start conversations that move your feed up to the top of news feeds by incurring multiple “likes” and comments. Being at the top translates into being read and recognized. Get that word out that you are experienced and available.

As with any social media job searching tool, the key word is “social”. In order for these tools to be effective, you must engage with your audience and network with employers and recruiters. If you follow that rule, snagging that job after graduation should be a piece of cake!

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