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Want a new job? Fill out your Facebook profile

Whether you're actively pursuing a new job or just kind of hoping someone contacts you with a great lead, you need to completely fill out your Facebook (FB) profile. OK, it's not a "need." Plenty of jobs are available for people without full Facebook profiles, and LinkedIn (LNKD) is still the premier job-hunting/networking site, but you'll likely be missing out if you don't have your Facebook profile completed.

Why? Because more and more companies are targeting potential job candidates on Facebook, and you want to be targeted. Companies can't find you if they don't know enough about you. Stephane Le Viet, CEO of Work4, a company that helps other companies use Facebook for recruiting explained:

Facebook's latest update is intended to give users more control and a better experience overall. It may seem counterintuitive, but I think we'll see that hiring ads in particular become even more effective as a result. By understanding why they're seeing career opportunities promoted in their news feeds, users will be encouraged to add more professional details to their profiles. This is just another way for talent and companies to find each other more easily as it encourages relevant engagement between individuals and companies.

Wouldn't it be great to wake up and find your dream job in your news feed rather than just your college roommate complaining about her off-again-on-again boyfriend? And it's not just targeted ads, it's about helping your friends.

When we talk about networking as a method to find a new job, it always seems a bit selfish. How can you help me get a new job? But we need to think about it as how can we help each other? And filling out your profile tells Facebook what company you currently work for. This info is used by services such as CareerSonar, which tells people what jobs are available in companies where their friends work.

So, if Jane is looking for a new job and all her friends have their profiles filled out, CareerSonar can send her a list of open positions that fit her criteria at these companies. Why is this helpful? Because you can then have your friend refer you for the position instead of just applying cold.

Most people don't monitor their internal job postings. But you can get in touch with your friend and say, "Hey, there's an analyst position available at your company. Can you tell me anything you know about it and submit my resume?" That will increase your chances of getting a job.

Provided your friend is a good performer, his opinion will be taken into consideration when recruiters look at your resume and cover letter. Additionally, a lot of companies offer bonuses for employee referrals. That is, if you recommend someone for a job and that person gets hired, you get a bonus. So, having your profile filled out can not only be extremely helpful in matching your friends with jobs, it can also add to your wallet.

Now, it's true that Facebook considers you its product, and it's making money off you when you have a completely filled out profile. No doubt about that. (And, in fact, Facebook has been doing psychological experiments on you.)

But let's face it. Job hunting is an unpleasant adventure, and if allowing Facebook to make a bit more money off you gives you access to jobs you're qualified for, that may be worth it.

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