Career fairs are out, Facebook groups are in!
The old way of job recruiting and searching happened in a public conference hall, with booths advertising boring office jobs that no-one really wants, free pens, and people in suits staring you down with a fake smile. People would walk away jobless and uninspired, like were just one in a sea of intelligent people, swimming towards that dream job, that may or may not exist.
Facebook groups are the new venue for job searching. People post and apply for jobs on this free forum, in specific groups that are concentrated on areas of interest. Relationships are made and nurtured, inspiring valuable referrals and networking. For freelancers especially, it works really well. People post questions about a certain topic and you comment with your knowledge, support, and encouragement. People now view you as an expert in this field and want your advice. All of the sudden you have a full inbox of people asking for help: all new clients.
This new way of job searching is paying off for job-seekers who are open to the idea and treat it as a professional opportunity. However, just like anything else, there are some crucial mistakes to avoid here. I’ve provided some general guidelines to ensure success while job searching with Facebook groups.
1. Find a group that suits you.
There are some key things to consider when choosing which Facebook groups to join. There are two ways to search. One way is by typing in a key word into the search bar. The second way is by going to the Explore section of the left side panel (on home screen), and clicking on Groups. This will bring you to a page called Discover. Here you can skim for groups that interest you. When choosing some groups to join, consider your skills, hobbies, things that you want to know more about, things you want more support in, etc. A good one to start with is the group I run, Remote Like Me Community. I give lots of video trainings, tips, and support for your job searching journey. Go to the files section and look at the document called “Facebook Groups I recommend.” Here you will find some similar groups that I personally am a part of, and advise you to join.
Look at the number of members to make sure there are enough people in the group but not too many that you would get lost in the shuffle. Next, look at the number of active posts. If there are less than 3 active posts, the group is probably not highly active and its members will be less engaged. Request to join the groups you are interested in and wait for approval by the administrator. When you get accepted, keep the next few points in mind.
2. Build relationships first.
The worst thing you can do is get excited by this blog post, hop in some Facebook groups that you’re interested in, and spam the feed trying to fish for a job opportunity. Instead, here’s how to get started on the right foot. The very first thing to focus on is the relationships you will build through this group. Start to connect with others by commenting on posts, answering questions with tips, and provide encouragement and support for those who are asking for it. This is how you build trust, get connected, network properly, get introduced to influential people and in the mean time, surround yourself with a supportive community.
With that being said…
3. Don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid to post in the group that you are looking for help. It should be after you have already connected with some members and are pretty active in the group. It could be a simple post like this:
“Hi everyone. I would like to introduce myself and let you know why I was inspired to join this group. My name is _____ and I am from _____. This year I am transitioning towards becoming _______. If anyone knows someone in this industry, I’d love to connect so I can ask some questions. Thanks for the support! Loving the group vibe.”
You could also try a more personal approach once you feel comfortable within the group setting. Tell the group why you want to find a job in your industry, what motivates you, what’s going on in your life right now, and what you envision for yourself (and your family) in the future. It might sound something like this:
“Hi everyone. I feel so inspired by the community in this group. I want to share a bit about who I am and why I’m here. This year I am experiencing a huge desire to travel the world. The only thing holding me back is my dead end job. I would love to get more knowledge and experience in the area of ______ and all of the posts here are helping me so much. I know I can have success if I just keep putting in the effort. If any of you know someone in ______ industry, please let me know. I’d love to ask more questions and see if this is the right path for me. Thanks in advance!”
Both of these posts let people know that you are looking for a job and are open to making connections, but neither of them will get you kicked out of a group, disliked, or ignored. Just be yourself, focus on making connections, and don’t be afraid to speak up about what you’re working towards!
4. Be professional.
When you see a job listing on a Facebook group, make sure you read through the entire post. Treat it like a job listing you would see online. Get the name and the email address of the person posting it, and research the website of the company. If these things are not provided, message the person and be formal about it. You can introduce yourself briefly and declare your interest for the position. Then ask for contact information and the link to the website so you can see if it is a good fit for you.
Again, read the entire post, twice over. It’s quite frustrating to see people destroying their chances at getting a job because they simply comment underneath the post, “Interested.” The person trying to find a proper candidate for the position is not looking to see how many people write “Interested.” They are not going to check back to read through comments. Contact them directly as soon as possible. They are looking for someone who takes initiative and steps up to the plate! Be that person. Double check your message for grammar mistakes and typos. Above all, ensure that your message actually answers the question at hand. If the job posting focuses on hiring someone with tech skills, your message should include this in the first few lines. Try opening with something similar to this:
Thank you for posting the _______ position in the ______ group. I can see myself utilizing my tech skills and experience in the start up world for this role. I would love to connect with you sometime this week. I can be reached by phone at ______ or by email at ______.”
Treat these correspondences like professional emails and you have nothing to fear. But if you treat this like a chat with your gal pals, you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to land these jobs.
Once you master these steps you could find your next full time remote job, high paying client, or valuable referral. Remember, find a group that suits you, build relationships, don’t be afraid, and be professional. Try some of these tips and let me know how it goes for you.
You can view my video training on this topic here!
Ready to start expanding your job search through other avenues? Check out my post on How To Find Your Dream Job On Twitter!