The Value of Facebook Groups in Career Development or Advancing Your Job Search

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Facebook launched in early 2004, originally as a platform that allowed college students to connect with one another. Soon, it became a space for family, friends and neighbors to remain in touch. Then, it evolved further, providing mechanisms for professional networking and career advancement. Facebook Groups are a large part of the landscape, allowing like-minded individuals from around the globe to engage in discussions and provide guidance, and some have become assets for anyone looking to advance their career.

Facebook Groups and Advancing Your Career

While Facebook is not created as a career-oriented platform, it has become a valuable resource over time. Not only has Facebook added job search capabilities to the site, but many professionals use it to network with coworkers, companies and others in their industry. This led to the rise of professionally-oriented Facebook Groups, which can be powerful tools for advancing your career.

Use a Mix of Search Criteria to Find New Groups

Facebook Groups can be dedicated to nearly any topic imaginable. You simply need to use the right search criteria to find those that have the potential to advance your career. This can include groups that focus on specific occupations, professional organizations or even companies where you would like to secure an opportunity. Some Facebook Groups even focus on specific skill sets or interests.

When you seek out Facebook Groups, do not limit yourself to one or two search terms. Instead, branch out and explore various routes that align with your career goals. By using this approach, you may discover options that you would have otherwise missed.

Join Conversations That Are In-Progress

While it may be tempting to join a Facebook Group and immediately start a new thread discussing your desire for a new opportunity, this is often a hasty and unwise move. Many group participants will be skeptical of newcomers, so it is better to build a rapport with group members before asking for assistance. Otherwise, your message may go ignored.

Instead, examine the group and look for active discussions where you can provide value. Answer questions asked by other members or provide insights based on your perspective in conversations dedicated to current events. Make sure to go beyond simple responses – such as, “I agree” – if you want to make progress. Focus on discussions where your contributions can be meaningful and also demonstrate your knowledge, increasing the odds that your responses will be well received.

Make Relationship-Building the Priority

People are not as likely to help individuals they do not know well. Blind solicitations asking for details about job opportunities can make you seem self-centered and aggressive, so they are best avoided. Instead, after joining the group, make sure you focus on relationship-building. When you forge meaningful connections with others, a future request for assistance is less likely to go unanswered.

Plus, if you provide others with assistance based on their needs, they are more likely to return the favor. This creates a give-and-take relationship, and many professionals are more inclined to reciprocate a kindness than to lead with one.

Begin by introducing yourself formally in a direct message and make your intentions clear by explaining your goals. Make it easy for the person to say “yes” by asking something simple. For example, requesting details on how you can get your foot in the door at their company is simpler for the person to navigate than asking them if they can help you land an opportunity.

By using that approach, you can use Facebook Groups to advance your career search without stepping on anyone’s toes or coming off too forceful. As a result, you may have a higher chance of success in landing your ideal position.

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