How to Turn Your Facebook Network into a Summer Job
Summer’s almost here — and if you’re in high school or college, it’s probably time to start sending out applications for a summer job. But instead of trudging from door to door to find out who’s hiring, why not do the whole process without leaving your computer? Here’s how to get a job using a site every teen sinks countless hours into: Facebook.
Clean up your profile. If you’re using Facebook for employment-related communications, it’s essential to first make sure that there’s nothing on your profile that would rule you out for a job. Look through your photos and get rid of any in which you might be drinking or doing any other not-so-wholesome activities. Then look through your Wall and delete any obscene or overly personal comments. If you’re a member of any Groups, see if there are any you’d mind if a prospective employer saw — for instance, being a member of “I Love Beer” probably won’t give the best first impression.
Spotlight your skills. Once your profile is presentable, make it shine for a potential employer by turning it into a virtual resumé. Add your educational experience and any former employers to your information box, and, if you have a personal website, be sure to include a link.
Build your network. Dig into your high school or college networks to see who you should be Facebook-friending. Don’t add anyone you don’t know personally, but casual acquaintances are fine. Older siblings’ and parents' friends could prove to be valuable contacts, too — think about who might be able to help you with a referral to a local business owner.
Put the word out. In a status update (or updates), mention that you’re seeking a summer job. Include your dates of availability and your previous work experience, and ask if anyone can give you a good contact. It’s not likely that a hiring manager will read your post, but you’ll probably find that friends of yours who already have jobs can refer you to their own bosses.
Become a fan of local businesses that interest you, and interact with them on their Facebook Pages. Does your favorite café have a Facebook Page? "Like" it and stay on top of what’s going on — if they’re hiring a new server, they’re likely to announce it there first. You can also send a private message directly to the Page’s administrator, who is likely to be an owner or manager, to ask if they happen to be hiring. Even if they’re not at the moment, you might want to post a compliment on their Wall about the great meal you had the other day. The owner is likely to notice, and if a position does open up, you’ll probably be on the top of the list.
Kathryn Hawkins is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.