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7 ways you can discover career opportunities & grow your professional network on Facebook

7 Ways You Can Discover Career Opportunities & Grow Your Professional Network on Facebook

If you’ve not parted ways with Facebook over the data privacy issues, then I’ve got some news for you! It’s not just a platform to post cute party photos. Facebook can be used in so many ways to boost your career — beyond LinkedIn.

Photo by Tim Bennett on Unsplash

In the past few years I’ve learned how Facebook has actually played a useful role in my career that went further than LinkedIn. I haven’t had to post anything to personal friends in my social network, or made any professional activity public. Yet, I’ve connected with interesting people, wonderful communities, found awards I’ve entered (and won), and have gained useful tech resources. Here’s how.

Note: I’m a member of the tech community, and examples below are tech and design related, but these can be applied to other fields, too!

1. Facebook Groups

I’ve gained and learned so much from amazing tech communities that share resources and opportunities together. These communities can be found in Facebook Groups, and there’s more out there than you think!

FreeCodeCamp: An INCREDIBLE community for those learning to code.

People are willing to help other people in these closed communities. And when people are helped, they want to help others in return. If you want feedback on work, to discover any relevant events, or to promote and share something of your own that could help others, here’s your space to do it.

HH (Hackathon Hackers) have loads of Facebook Groups. Here’s an example of one for people hosting hackathons.

Start searching on Facebook for keywords such as ‘UI/UX’ or ‘Hackathons’ and select the ‘Groups’ filter. There will be plenty! Some of them will want you to answer some questions to make sure you’re the right fit, but they’re very rarely strict about these questions, and just want an idea of what you want from the community and what you could offer in return. There are also great groups for minorities such as People of Colour in Tech, Women in Tech and LGBT+ groups. If you need some recommendations, drop me a message on Twitter and I’ll be happy to help!

2. Facebook Adverts

Here’s a curveball for you.

I love my targeted Facebook adverts.

Pay attention to yours. If you, like me, spend a lot of time looking at tech events, reading tech articles and looking at tech companies, your adverts will start reflecting that.

As a result, I’ve found some amazing opportunities through these adverts that have shifted my career. I would never have found my favourite non-profit Stemettes, had volunteering opportunities with them and later gone to Houston, Texas for the Grace Hopper Celebration. Nor would I have won the Undergraduate of the Year Award and later got a summer internship with Deutsche Bank — which has now resulted in a graduate job when I graduate this Summer. These are only a couple of insane examples!

When you see a relevant ad, make sure you click on the dropdown menu and select ‘This ad is useful’. The more you do this, the more the platform will learn about your preferences. If it’s not useful, hide the advert using the drop down and select the ‘This is not relevant to me’ option.

A neat targeted ad for a pretty cool looking hackathon, thanks Zuck 

I know, it might sound a little daunting to some people that it’s ‘learning’ about you. But I’ll be going into more detail about Facebook adverts and why I like them (talk about unpopular opinion), how I keep my data entirely under my control, and how to tailor them to your chosen interests in a post very soon. Watch this space or follow me here.

3. Following Influencers

I’ve often spotted influencers, or up and coming individuals in similar fields, on LinkedIn and in the media whose work I admire, but noticed they don’t post a lot — or aren’t in the spotlight yet so I don’t have much to follow.

Sometimes, I’ll search these individuals on Facebook and they’ll have a ‘Follow’ option, and they turn out to post publicly to their followers regularly about their business endeavours. This lets me get to know these up and coming influencers a little more when the press isn’t an option.

I’m following (but not Facebook Friends with) Palmer Luckey, Oculus CEO and Jenn Duong, who have worked in the VR and AR field

4. Connecting with People in your Field

To take it one step further, I’ve actually connected with some great people that I’ve met through Facebook Groups and Twitter. Make sure you have had a meaningful conversation with these people and create a relationship with them — don’t just add everyone you see in a group! This won’t get you anywhere.

Of course, stay safe online and don’t add anyone who seems to be a red flag.

5. Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories are another way of cultivating your professional brand. Personally, I don’t use this often because my preference is to keep my professional antics away from friends in my social network. But there’s ways of using it without having to show all your friends too!

It serves as a really powerful medium at the moment. Not many people use the Stories feature, so when you do use it, you can be sure that yours will be most likely visible on someone’s homepage — unlike on Instagram and Snapchat stories!

Take a leaf out of Pauline P. Narvas’s book. She uses this feature to promote her blogs and her brand. She was recently nominated for an award and asked her network to help her out with some votes.

Facebook Groups also has a story function, so you can actually post a Facebook story to a particular group, thus excluding your private social network!

Pauline’s (a FB friend of mine) story, and a Girls LOVE Travel member’s (not a FB friend) Facebook Group story

6. Company Facebook Pages

This is probably a no-brainer to some, but it’s worth remembering. Make sure you Like or Follow companies and media pages you’re interested in.

I’m aware that when I ‘Like’ pages, my friends can see that I do, and they’re sometimes suggested to like it too. To get around this, just ‘Follow’ that page, and they’re highly unlikely to be informed that you do so.

Following — but not Liked. Others cannot see whether I’m following it.

It’s useful to get tech news when I’m using Facebook without having to go onto LinkedIn or onto their dedicated websites. Observe and engage in the comments section — sometimes there are notable people in the field that comment that you might be interesting in following.

7. Facebook Events

Lastly, there is a wealth of information out there about upcoming tech events. Companies are trying to get their events known, and get more personal with their potential customers and attendees. Hackathons and workshops are very frequently posted on Facebook too, so keep an eye out for events by looking at posts in Facebook groups, and using the Facebook search bar.

On top of that, to see even more you might be interested in, look at the Related Events in the sidebar. A wealth of information, so easy to find.

Left: TechCrunch Event, and Related Events on the Sidebar. Right: A Windows Mixed Reality Event I attended

That’s all I have for now. If you’ve got any other Facebook tips to boost your career that I’ve missed out here, do share! I’d love to know. 

I’m Hannah. I’m a Computer Science student and creative developer. All things Virtual and Augmented Reality, creative tech, and innovative entrepreneurship get me excited — especially when it’s #techforgood.

Feel free to reach out and connect with me! 

hannah blair ✨ (@erhannah) | Twitter