In the early years of Facebook I generally kept my distance from friending everyone and made a rule for myself to just connect with people I meet in real life.
But lately my tune is changing. I'm starting to see the power of connections you can make with it.
If I was out of work today, I would make Facebook a part of my daily job hunting activities.
A lot of people shrug off the notion of combining Facebook and job hunting. But Facebook is actually a good tool if you use it right.
Now that Facebook is collecting (and asking for) more information from those that join, its data points are going to help all of us connect with one another.
Facebook now has the basic building blocks in place to also help you professionally.
The other day on Linkedin, one of my connections said this about Facebook:
"I've always set my FB profile on private and kept certain things for friends only. Before reading similar articles on this topic last year or so, I never really thought FB would be a good way to find standard/corporate-type employment (as I've always known it to be a great way to network for opportunities in the entrepreneurial sector), maybe I should give it a try as I'm on a life transition process (changing careers--switching to another industry--relocation to another state, and getting back into conventional corporate-type employment).
I mainly use FB for business networking and social/casual contacts with friends and relatives. Plus networking is the fastest way to get a job anyway, and networking involves building relationships, friendships, etc.
I feel that it's easier to establish friendships on FB due to its more "social" nature."
So I have started friending more casual contacts who might be good prospects for my business.
I created a custom list of "business" folks and share various industry related articles and information with them. That way my closer friends and family don't have to see those posts. Mixed with an occasional personal post or pic, it makes me more likable and friendly.
Facebook's new Graph search is still in testing, but you can sign up to join the test at Introducing Graph Search. if you have a Facebook account.
Using Graph Search for your job search -
Facebook, much like Linkedin, can become a virtual Rolodex for anyone. I know one person (in their 20's) who has 5,000 friends on Facebook. I can only imagine what his news feed looks like, but those are 5,000 people he can market himself to if he ever needs a job!
Don't dismiss Facebook too easily. Browse your friends; see where they work. You just might be surprised how they can help you.
Chris Russell is the CEO & Founder of CareerCloud.com. An advocate for job seekers everywhere, he is widely considered to be the "mad scientist of online recruiting," a badge he wears with pride. His long running podcast, CareerCloud Radio has been around since 2007 and is consistently a top 25 show in the iTunes - Career category. Follow Chris online via twitter @chrisrussell.