Will Facebook give LinkedIn a run for its money?

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Last month, Facebook announced that people would be able to post job openings on its network.  While the article references competition with LinkedIn, it also competes with any network that offers a job listing.

This will naturally freak out people  who might be looking for an avenue to apply for work considering the casual nature of Facebook, since it’s likely that an employer will likely do a cursory check of your profile.  One thing to remember:  Employers have been doing that cursory check for years, and since many of us treat Facebook as a brain dump, we have to be careful.  I hypothesize that employers only dig into your social footprint if it will have an impact on the position you hold.

A piece of me is glad to see Facebook jumping into the job board world.  They’ve been around the longest, and have become the default way to find people.  Activists use their graph search to find people with like interests to reach out to in hopes to spread word about a campaign.  Short of people’s fears of having their profiles used against them, I don’ see why Facebook couldn’t compete with other job boards.

Facebook is ultimately a jack-of-all trades network:  You can engage in commerce, share news articles, plan events, market your business(es) or product(s) with advertising, do live broadcasts, write blog entries, create groups for special interest discussion, play games with others across the globe, leave reviews for businesses and products, inform others of your activities as a way to get a conversation started, indicate that you’re safe when disaster strikes, ask for recommendations from your network, share your life goals and plans, and talk to people via their messaging app.  It just needs to be a dating website and university, and you’d have a nearly complete ecosystem.

For those in panic mode, I don’t foresee Facebook overtaking LinkedIn’s professional ecosystem, but I see them presenting formidable competition.  It reminds me of an article I came across from a millennial discussing her generation’s opposition to LinkedIn.  Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the younger generation has ascended into positions of leadership in the workplace and entering supervisory and leadership roles.  It’s only a matter of time before the world’s biggest companies are run by a millennial, or have a millennial advising them on day-to-day operations.

If Alexis is correct, Facebook could become an acceptable place to be business casual, which could hurt LinkedIn.  If Facebook were serious about giving LinkedIn hard competition, they would have to find a way to adapt their brand to the professional world considering they’ve always been seen as the casual social network.

Another thing to consider about the two networks was nicely highlighted by TechCrunch:

Pretty much everyone has a Facebook profile, which are often filled with extensive information about their past jobs titles, employers, education and interests. Recruiters can target job posting ads with all this data so they reach people with the right credentials. And because people browse Facebook constantly, those users are likely to eventually see the ads.

Considering the heat that LinkedIn has taken over their UI and UX experience since their merger with Microsoft, it’s the perfect time for Facebook to directly compete.  The frustration came to the point where BeBee was formed to compete with them, and so far, it brings over a fair amount of LinkedIn users. [1]  As I wrote in this article, I think LinkedIn should focus its efforts into making the hiring/onboarding process easier for companies, and getting them way from outdated ATS.  As a free market guy, I don’t want to see LinkedIn have a monopoly over the process, but would rather see them set a new standard and license it to other companies.

As for millennials and job searching, it doesn’t take much adaptation to make yourself professionally marketable on Facebook:

  • Keep the political rants to a minimum.  You can oppose or support something without going over the top.  If you want to make a political statement, at least be coherent and constructive.
  • Keep a clean avatar.  Save the pictures posing with your best friend, or significant others for photo galleries.  If you want an example, check out my profile.
  • Be aware of who is tagging you in posts, photos, and check-ins.  When you are tagged in something, your entire network has access to that post.
  • Keep your posts constructive, positive, and informative.  Also, when composing an update, check for typos and auto-correct issues, and keep basic sentence structure in mind.  One does not need to be a scholar to articulate their thoughts coherently.
  • It might be prudent to audit your Facebook friends lists, especially if you’ve carried the same account since high school or college.  Life takes people in different directions; what was acceptable to you in your twenties, may not be acceptable to you in your thirties.  If your profile is beyond repair, there’s no harm in deleting what you have and starting from scratch.
  • Understand that while it’s fun to engage in posts with friends, when their posts are Public, your entire network will able to see the conversation.  Same thing with engaging Pages of interest; your entire network will see the conversation.  Consider joining Groups where said notifications aren’t visible to others.

If you’re not sure whether your profile would pass a business casual muster, and want some help giving it a new look, I’m happy to assist.  If it helps to know, I’m always making changes to my profile to make it more appealing.

[1]  I am a Brand Ambassador for BeBee, and I do recommend it for those who want to develop their professional brand with a personal touch.  You can find my BeBee page here.

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About the author

Mike Rana

Mike Rana is one of those people who is hard to define, though he's not immune to being labeled for something. He likes to talk about many topics including technology, business, politics, education, psychology, and human behavior. In his spare time, Mike enjoys traveling, people watching, analyzing the world around him, writing about his life experiences, absorbing information from various social media channels, and trying to be the voice of reason in the political arena.

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