5 ways to use Facebook Groups to grow your professional network

Sarah K. White

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You've heard the stories about people losing their job over an imprudent Facebook post, but what about actually finding a job on Facebook? It's possible, because beyond the political posts and photos from your second cousin's wedding, there lies a world of industry-specific Facebook Groups where you can connect with other professionals in your industry, and you can even connect with recruiters there.

LinkedIn or Facebook?

Compared to sites like LinkedIn, where professional networking groups abound, Facebook has a more informal feel. Your profile isn't directly linked to your professional experience on Facebook, and chances are that your Facebook profile is filled with more personal information than your LinkedIn account. But on the flipside, Facebook is more ingrained in culture, and it stands to reason that the average Facebook user probably winds up on the site on a regular basis. LinkedIn has a more buttoned-up reputation, and if it's not part of your daily online routine, you might find yourself forgetting to log in and participate in your professional network.

LinkedIn can also require more upkeep since you'll need to log in and update your career experience and work history. Using LinkedIn can feel as daunting as updating your resume, while Facebook has a more casual vibe that you might find less intimidating. Ultimately, both offer similar features, just with a different network. You'll be able to plan and schedule events, hold discussions, pose questions and use direct messaging to keep in touch outside of the main group page.

One of the biggest differences between the two services is that with Facebook you might find that it takes more time to find the professional groups worth your time. Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook caters to all demographics, ages and interests, so you might spend time wading through less than relevant content to find what you want.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that it's no secret recruiters are turning to social media to find candidates. In a recent survey by Jobvite, a company focused on aiding recruiters in the tech industry, 92 percent of recruiters reported using social media in the recruitment process, and 55 percent of those said they used Facebook. In fact, Facebook came in just second behind LinkedIn for the network recruiters report using the most, so it makes sense to further your career by establishing a professional presence on the site. Here are five tips that will help you get the most out of Facebook Groups for your career.

Determine what type of group you want to join

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