Most people have a simple dichotomy in their head – LinkedIn is for my business life, and Facebook is for my personal life. While there’s nothing wrong with this dichotomy, it can limit you.
In particular, a little known feature Facebook rolled out in March, 2013 can allow you to expand your network in powerful ways that you simply can’t do with LinkedIn.
This feature is known as graph search, and today, I’d like to show you how to use it to get three types of connections that are critical for landing your dream job: warm, hot, and cold connections.
WHAT IS FACEBOOK GRAPH SEARCH.
Before we get started, a quick primer on Facebook graph search is in order.
Graph search is a search engine that Facebook rolled out in March 2013. Instead of only being able to search by peoples or groups names, it allows you to build complex queries (using natural language) that can filter by specific features of the person or group you’re looking for.
You can, and should, take advantage of graph search to find the type of people you want to network with.
To use Facebook graph search, simply log on to Facebook and type your search phrase into the top search bar.
Hot connections are people you already know who could help you in your job search (or who you could help).
Here are a few examples of searches you could use if you were looking to apply to Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst:
- My friends who work at Goldman Sachs (for referrals and inside information)
- My friends who are Financial analysts (for informational interviews)
- My friends who major in Finance (for industry contacts)
Once you’ve found connections who can help, the next step is to send them a message
Because you’re already friends with these people, you can keep your message short, personable, and to the point.
Hey [Name], Long time no talk… what have you been up to? Saw you’re working at Goldman Sachs now, and I’m actually looking to apply there in the next few months. Any chance we can hop on the phone for a quick chat? I’m especially interested in learning more about [specific thing you couldn’t find out from research].
Warm connections are people whom you could get introduced to through a trusted friend or colleague. The key here is to do your research.
Continuing with our example of a financial analyst looking to work at Goldman Sachs, here are some example searches:
- My friends of friends who work at Goldman Sachs (for a list of people who can introduce you to an inside source)
- People with friends who are financial anaysts who work at my company (for list of people at your work who can introduce you to someone with your desired job title)
- People who follow my friends and major in finance (for a list ofpeople who look up to people you know, and are in the field you’d like to get into).
As you see above, under each person is a link that says “Friends with [the type of people you searched”. You can clink on this link to get a list of the people your friend can introduce you to.
The key here is to thoroughly research any person you’d like to be introduced to. Make sure you know if they have a blog, what job titles they’ve held, etc.
Then, send your friend a message like this one:
Hey [Friend’s Name], I saw that you were connected with [Introduction’s Name] on Facebook… how do you know them? I’m asking because I’m looking to get into that industry and I was fascinated by [specific thing they wrote or did in their career]. Would you feel comfortable introducing us through email? I’d love to have a quick chat with them to learn more.
Cold connections are people who you have no connection with, but whom building a relationship with could allow you to really help each other in your careers.
Here are a few example searches for cold contacts:
- People who went to my college and work at Goldman Sachs (this shows people who went to your college and work at your desired company)
- Groups joined by people who live nearby and are Accountants (this will allow you to find business networking events near you that have people with your desired job title)
- People with similar interests to me who majored in Finance and live nearby (This will find people who you have something in common with and who work in the industry you would like to get into)
Contacting these people will be a little different, because you don’t know them. One option is simply to find out about them through Facebook, and then find events they’re going to that might have similar people like them.
Another option is to simply send them a message/friend request, but to use commonalities to make them more likely to reply. Again, research is key here in order to have a reason for contacting them.
Here’s an example:
Hey [Name] Greetings from a fellow [your college] alum. I saw [article you did, job title you had, etc] and it got me intrigued… especially because I’ve done [similar achievement you had in your career]. I’m especially interested in learning [something that you couldn’t learn from research]. Would you be up for a quick phone chat this Tuesday at No time format has been specified? Otherwise, I’m free all morning Wednesday. Thanks! P.S. I know you’re busy, so if you don’t have time for a chat, I’d be happy to just ask one or two quick questions over email.
As you can see, Facebook graph search is an incredible tool for growing your network strategically. It allows you to find people who are relevant to your career, and gives you a simple method to contact them.
What have you used Facebook graph search for? Let me know in the comments.