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Facebook Launches Social Job Search App: A Good Idea?

Facebook launched a Social Job Search App yesterday, positioning it as an altruistic move of sorts.

They say they want to be instrumental in putting the world back to work. 

The beginning of their announcement reads:

When it comes to economic growth, few issues are more important than matching qualified candidates with great jobs. In that spirit, we know that the power of social media — the connections between friends, family and community — can have an outsized impact on finding jobs."

How nice, I thought as I read that. Isn’t Facebook also the one site that job search coaches, career counselors and outplacement offices worldwide say that you should stay away from during your job search? The media, myself included, has been alerting jobseekers to clean up or to try to lock down their Facebook pages months before they start applying for work.

Headlines worldwide say things like: Could you pass a Facebook background check? I Flunked My Social Media Background Check Will You? The Curse of the Facebook Background Check … ad infinitum.

Facebook and jobseeking don’t go together is now the widely accepted line of thinking.

Professional Facebook?

So the question is, will this Facebook app be able to turn that truth around and eventually help Facebook make money? (To be clear, there is no charge for listing or applying for jobs via links from the site at the moment. Note: This is how nearly all job sites start at first.)

Facebook’s bet is an obvious yes. And their strategy to re-train a generation as to where they should go to look for work is a smart one. They’ve partnered with NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), which concerns itself with college seniors landing their first jobs, and the Department of Labor (whose local offices many visit when they file for their initial unemployment claims). Their other partnerships are with Monster, the granddaddy of online job sites which is expensive for employers to use when sites like Indeed.com and SimplyHired are free; and Branchout, which sits on top of Facebook’s platform.

At the moment, job listings on Facebook take you out to those sites, so Facebook doesn’t collect your resume. But it certainly does collect a click and has a chance to learn a bit more about your professional self, and who knows how they will use that information in the future?

Alternatives

There will certainly be those readers who will ask if I have a better solution, and the answer is that there are many. The best place to start, if you’re a star performer, is with the recruiter with whom you have a relationship. (Disclaimer, I am a recruiter.)

After all, a recruiter, who knows you and what you excel at can call a client or knock on a door and tell your boss-to-be how great you are and how you can be instrumental in helping them meet their objectives. Recruiters will know which employers are dying to get someone like you in the door and which company cultures you’re likely to fit best.

If you’re a stellar performer and don’t know a recruiter, put connecting with one on your list.

Second, if you belong to a niche organization, where members open doors for each other, for whatever reason, go there and call on your buddies for job leads and introductions. (This is assuming these are people you actually have a professional relationship with.) They’ll either gladly make a referral or tell you “no” and “why,” which might set you on a more fruitful course.

If you’re active on a site like CMSWire, comment on articles, attend Tweet Jams and such, network
there, or apply to jobs on those sites. They’ll be targeted to your profession and area of interest and will probably get fewer than 1000 resumes, which is ten times more than any recruiter is likely to look through.

Third, there’s LinkedIn, it is the Social Networking site geared toward your career. Everyone on that site is there to advance themselves professionally or to connect with colleagues. There’s nothing shameful for asking a first level connection for an introduction because professional networking is what the site is all about.

And finally, there are job search aggregators like Indeed and SimplyHired that list almost every job on the web. If you find one you’re interested in, go into your LinkedIn network and see if anyone there can connect you to the hiring company. (You could use the Facebook app the same way, but the downside is that every time you click …)

If you need more ideas, check out Job Search 2.0

 
 
 
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