Can you get a job by advertising yourself on Facebook? | Lindsey Pollak's Blog

Can you get a job by advertising yourself on Facebook?

katelyn-hill.jpgHow 5 recent college grads used Facebook to entice employers…

Willy Franzen over at One Day, One Job blogged today about a unique experiment he coordinated with some entry-level job candidates:

Instead of helping employers target students with recruitment messages, why not help students/new grads target employers with Facebook ads? Basically, we want you to create an ad for yourself. The goal is to sell yourself in a few short sentences and convince any recruiters who may see your ads to click through to your resume/web page/contact information. 

Read Willy’s post to see how five job candidates fared with their Facebook ads.  He also provides a step-by-step guide to how you can apply this strategy if you’re interested in trying it.

All of this reminds me of the former investment banker who drew headlines this summer. Frustrated with his job search, he decided to stand on Park Avenue handing out resumes and wearing a sandwich board that said, “Experienced M.I.T. Grad for Hire.” The Facebook experiment seems to be the online version of the sandwich board job search strategy.

Do I think these types of stunts are effective ways to find a job? Well, they’re clearly a way to make yourself visible and make some new connections, which can only help your prospecting. The danger is that you might turn off the exact people you want to impress — some employers may find Facebook ads a little too self-promotional. On the other hand, some employers might love the idea of a go-getting job hunter who isn’t afraid to be aggressive.

I’m looking forward to seeing if the five candidates in Willy’s experiment get real-life jobs from their online ads. What do you think of this approach? Share your thoughts!

  1. […] Lindsey Pollak wrote an interesting post today on Can you get a job by advertising yourself on Facebook?Here’s a quick excerptInstead of helping employers target students with recruitment messages, why not help students/new grads target employers with Facebook ads? Basically, we want you to create an ad for yourself. The goal is to sell yourself in a few short … […]

  2. Hi Lindsey!

    This caught up with me yesterday and I have to say I LOVE the idea. The key, as I see it, is to stand out in the job search and connect with as many outside of the “normal” recruiting circles as possible. Most resumes sent into large companies just don’t get read by human eyes. People should continue to send in resumes but also also work to stand out and get known (in a non-goofy way).

    I host a radio show at EMC. This week I had two guests. One represented the “company” perspective and heads the Talent Acquisition (Recruiting) operation for North America for EMC — Barbara Massa. The other represented the individual or “personal brand” perspective and writes a popular blog/magazine on the subject and works as a social media PR specialist at EMC — Dan Schawbel.

    The key theme is that matching candidates with companies, and companies with candidates today is an two-way street. We need to court and evaluate each other. In this journey, both the employment brands (the companies) and the personal brands (the candidates) need to stand out.

    It was a great show. We offered tips for building your personal brand as well as tips for navigating your career inside of a company. Even those gainfully employed, I believe, need to build their personal brand in prep for the next career assignment (that doesn’t mean Facebook ads at the passive stage; but LinkedIn, Facebook, and blog comments for sure). We have a saying, “What got you here won’t keep you here.” When you’re up for that next assignment, consider your competition. If they have a larger network, stand out in an interesting way, and a more established personal brand you — no matter your track record — might be put at a disadvantage. You never know who they know. The more who know you the better.

    I remember when I first landed by job in PR at EMC (I was 25 at the time), I launched a PR campaign about myself to help get the job. The modern day version of that move I would think is placing ads on Facebook like this experiment suggests. Congrats to Willy Franzen over at One Day One Job for thinking of it, and to the folks brave enough to do it. I forwarded the article yesterday to the person to runs our Marketing New College HIre Leadership Program — you never know, maybe one of them could land at EMC. My message was “Looks like these folks have the fearless EMC DNA.”

    Hey — and Happy Birthday!

    Polly Pearson
    EMC VP Employment Brand and Strategy Engagement

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  4. Willy says:

    Thanks for blogging about the experiment, Lindsey. I think that there’s a lot of room for growth with this method, and I’m excited to hear about more candidates’ experiences as they try it.

  5. @Polly – Thanks for the great comments! Glad to know EMC is open to creative personal branding techniques. And thanks for the bday wishes!!

    – Lindsey

  6. @Willy – my pleasure. Looking forward to hearing more about how the candidates do in their job searches. Keep us posted!

    – Lindsey

  7. Job Advertising. | says:

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  8. Hi Lindsey,

    This is definitely a positive spin on a social networking site that has a lot of college students missing opportunities because of inappropriate behavior. I wrote about dusting off one’s online persona recently as well.

    Had a session with college athletes recently and many were surprised that employers were looking at their private “stuff” on the world wide web. Once we discussed what “private” really means on the internet, I could tell that many would be making some changes.


  9. @Marcie – Thanks for the comment and agreement about the importance of cleaning up one’s online presence!


  10. John Bill says:

    Dear friend,

    Realy it is very useful post , Accept my sincere thanks and appreciation

    John Bill


    Jobs , companies , real estate , engineers , petroleum company

  11. Shawn says:

    I know of an MBA student who used Facebook to get an interview with….you guessed it…Facebook. It will be interesting to see how big of a role social networking sites will play in identifying college grads as recruiting continues to evolve.

  12. @Shawn – I love it. Facebook is, of course, the perfect tool for landing a job with Facebook. Thanks for sharing.


  13. […] few months later, you might have come across a group of job-hunting, 20-something recent graduates promoting their skills though sidebar advertisements on Facebook and links to their online […]

  14. Trisha Howard says:

    Well having been made redundant during this world economic crisis I feel that I am, as well as many 1000’S of others, experiencing so many disappointments whilst looking for that perfect job. I am very close to wearing that sandwich board and walking down the high street touting for business, so to speak… Recruitment agencies and the like are unindated with job seekers and its proving to be a battle field.
    I have just designed a brochure to be distributed into any type of industry that I have had experience in, just in the hope that they could be looking for someone. They do say persistance pays off, but 8 months on my patience is somewhat running out. So, anyone looking for a first Class experienced Business Development Manager, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager etc. etc.


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