Thursday, July 16, 2015

What etiquette you should follow when applying for a job through Facebook

Several months ago I posted a job opening on Facebook. Using this mechanism was very fruitful, but also extremely disheartening. Many of the people who were interested had no concept of how to appropriately respond to the opportunity. While often Millennials are criticized and belittled for their disregard of convention and formality, I found that they were absolutely not the biggest offenders. My peers in their late 30s, 40s and 50s had no sense that they way they responded to the post would reflect on how the employer (me) would view them.

Therefore I thought it would be helpful to provide tips for how to apply for a job posted on social media.

  1. Read the post carefully.
This tells the employer whether or not your pay attention to detail and can, well, read.  Examples of mistakes caused by not reading closely:
  • Don’t comment with questions that are answered in the post. If you do so accidently, delete the comment immediately.
  • What mechanism does the employer want you to use to contact her? Don’t respond in a comment or a chat if the employer writes, “Please send your resume to”

2. Respond appropriately
This tells the employer if you are a good communicator and will represent the organization well.
Example of mistakes caused by not reading closely:
  • Don’t chat with a potential employer like you are chatting with a friend.
    After I posted the position on Facebook, I started receiving Facebook chats, even though I requested that the messages should be sent via email. I understood that when a job is posted on Facebook, someone might want to respond using the social media tool. However, the way people chatted was unacceptable. “Hey, what’s up. heard ur looking for some1 for your trip. id like to learn more.”  There are so many problems with this sentence. Besides the informal nature and the grammar, the person doesn’t actually ask any kind of decent question. “I’d like to learn more” isn’t actually an inquiry. It’s telling me how you feel. A better statement would be “I see that you are looking for a person with education experience. I have been teaching for three years. When would be a good time to speak more about the position?”
  • Don’t use emoticons or acronyms. Please. :) ! ;)  LOL
  • Write the chat or email as if you were writing a formal inquiry. Don't write, "Hey," write, "Dear Jennifer." Use conventional grammar, capitalization, and spelling. Typically when you chat you don't use an apostrophe or capitalize letters. I understand. But when applying for a position, you need to.
  • If the position asks for certain qualifications, and you don’t have them, you shouldn’t apply. Especially if the qualification includes certification or degrees. Just because the job is posted on Facebook doesn’t make the process of hiring or working less serious.
  • Consider your profile picture (and other pictures) before you apply. If your picture is of you doing shots or voicing a radical political message, your judgment will come into question.
  • Don’t friend me. I’m not looking for a friend, I’m looking for an applicant. You can add me on LinkedIn.
  • If I ask you for a resume or other questions, respond immediately. The beauty of Facebook is that the hiring process can go very quickly. You don’t want to be left behind.

I know some of this probably came across as quite harsh. However, I do hope I’m doing a public service. These things do matter and are easy to fix in the future. Best of luck!

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