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Facebook isn’t LinkedIn, but job searching is all about who you know, and as such, your Facebook circle can play a role in your professional networking.
In part, landing a new job is a numbers game. That’s why a wide net of Facebook friends is more strongly associated with finding a new job than any single individual connection, according to research from Tufts University, Stony Brook University and Facebook just released today.
That said, one single strong relationship is more important than any single weak connection, according to the research, which was conducted with data from 6 million Facebook users’ data in the United States. The research tracked whether an individual would ever end up working at the same employer as a pre-existing friend.
Approximately 7 percent of the Facebook users in the study, about 400,000 people, got a job thanks to help from at least one friend, according to the report titled “Social Networks and Labor Markets: How Strong Ties Relate to Job Finding On Facebook’s Social Network.”
To determine how close a Facebook friend is, the researchers counted the number of times people interact in a year, the number of mutual friends they share or the number of times they are tagged in each other’s photos. If you are tagged in a photo together, after all, that means that you are, at least in theory, friends “IRL” and not just online.
Here are some key recommendations from Facebook for job seekers:
1. Keep your Facebook account up to snuff and looking fresh.
2. To brush up your Facebook profile, be sure you have any drunk party snaps hidden behind a privacy wall and post a tactful profile picture and cover photo.
3. Check out what you have “liked” in your “About” section, removing any outdated or inappropriate groups you may be part of.