Over the past few months, we’ve seen a lot of changes in how Facebook is used in the job search. An active social job search is incomplete without the use of Facebook. While Facebook isn’t always the most job seeker-friendly social networking website, it is preferred by most job seekers with 52 percent of job seekers using Facebook to find work. Comparing this to 38 percent on LinkedIn and 34 percent on Twitter, it’s evident that Facebook is beginning to keep up with its audience for a reason.

One interesting trend we have seen at Jackalope Jobs is seeing openings on social sites such as LinkedIn, and using personal connections at Facebook.

Whether you’re optimizing your page to be more employer-friendly or being more active on company pages, the Facebook job search is slowly becoming more optimized with you in mind! Take a look at some new rules and tips you should be following this year in your job search on Facebook.

Using the Social Jobs App

In November 2012, Facebook launched its first job search app, which has been duly noted as a possible competitor to LinkedIn. One of the takeaways is that the job search app uses listings from a variety of aggregators. That’s all fine and well, but for job seekers to effectively use this new app, they should keep a few things in mind.

  • Although it seems novel, the social jobs app should only be one tool in your job search toolbox, not the sole technique.
  • It’s highly likely that the jobs posted on the social jobs app will be extremely overrun by other job seekers. In other words, you’re going to run into more competition because there are millions of people using Facebook.
  • It’s easier than ever for employers to find your Facebook profile using the social jobs app, so it’s even more important for you to make your profile more professional and reevaluate your privacy settings.

Right now, the social jobs app is clicking in at more than 2.3 million job postings and even offers options for veteran-friendly job postings. The actual job search itself is very simple. Once you specify a search term, location, and category, the social jobs app separates job listings in columns per each job aggregator.

Optimizing your profile using the Facebook Graph Search

Facebook’s Graph Search was released this year to optimize the Facebook search algorithm. Using smarter search terms, users can now search for specific friends who like certain things, or even search for friends of friends by likes, comments, and photos, too. Similar to using LinkedIn or BranchOut to see who your friends know, the graph search allows you to search for friends who work in certain companies, making networking via Facebook a little easier.

As you learn to use the graph search to your advantage, consider a few tips on optimizing your Facebook account for this new tool:

  1. Make sure your work history is up-to-date and made public. This will allow the graph search to pull your profile if a recruiter is looking for someone with your qualifications or if a friend is looking for connections at a company you used to work for.
  2. Similarly, update your education section and make it public. For the same reasons listed above, this will allow you to be found based on your educational history.
  3. Use smart search engine optimization (SEO) techniques in your profile information. Sprinkle your profile, work history, and other sections with industry-specific keywords. Although the graph search is still new, keywords are commonly used on LinkedIn and even in resume writing to optimize your information for employer searches.
  4. “Like” and become active on more company pages. This tip is also similar to what you’d find in most LinkedIn articles, but it really will help you out during a job search.

Privacy laws in the new year?

I’ll only touch on this briefly, but job seekers should turn their attention toward possible legislation in the coming year to impact their job search on Facebook. This year, California and Illinois became the 5th and 6th states to pass laws barring employers from demanding Facebook passwords from employees or potentials employees. Although legislation was shot down last year that would have prohibited employers from demanding this access, this issue hasn’t been laid to rest.

That being said, what do you do if a hiring manager requests your Facebook login information?

Tread lightly and suggest the manager take a look at your public profile with you without logging into your page. If this doesn’t suffice, ask the hiring manager if this is a necessary step to successfully move forward in the interview process. If so, it’s time for you to evaluate the situation and if the job is worth the trouble for you.

A lot of changes are coming to Facebook and your job search. Make sure you’re keeping up!

Have you used any of the new features listed above? What do you think? Will they be helpful in your job search or are they just fluff features?