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Do I Need Facebook To Network and Find a Job?

Posted on the 01 July 2011 by Classycareergirl @classycareer

Dear Classy Career Girl, I am a rising college senior, with the ambition to take a "gap year" before applying to medical schools next spring. I deleted my Facebook earlier this year for many reasons, most of which relate to the "drama" associated with students using Facebook and the problems that it can cause. Is my lack of a Facebook going to be hugely detrimental to job searches and networking? I honestly prefer not having one, it is one less distraction from my internship and other forms of communication. How can I be successful at social networking without Facebook? How important is Facebook, really? Please help! -Social Media Avoider
Dear Social Media Avoider, I think this is a great question because we all just assume that we have to be on Facebook just because everyone else is.  It's funny that you sent this question because I have actually taken a little time off of my personal Facebook account just recently.  I have found that it totally frees up so much time because my brain was constantly consuming information about other people.
How important is Facebook, really?
Facebook is a good way to stay connected and know what is going on in people's personal lives.  For instance, you may find out that your classmate went on a trip and you now have a topic to network with them about the next time you see them at school.  Facebook is also very important to advertise to your friends and family that you are on the job hunt.  You can post that you are looking for a job in a certain industry and ask if anyone has any contacts.  This is a great way to use your network to open up referrals for informational interviews.

Is my lack of a Facebook going to be hugely detrimental to job searches and networking?
No, it won't be detrimental as long as you make a point to stay in touch with the people you care about other ways such as email, phone, text message and meeting up in person.  Also, Facebook isn't the most important social media job search site.  The best site is actually Linkedin and you should get this instead for your professional networking.  Recruiters are starting to look for information about you online to make a more personal connection and see how you have managed your online brand.  Usually you don't want recruiters to see your facebook page but you definitely want them to see a great Linkedin page that is 100% complete to make your strengths stand out!  Another social media account you could try without having to deal with "drama" created by other students is to get on Twitter.  Try following and connecting with people and companies that are interesting to you.  You never know, you might learn about a networking event on twitter where you will find your future job!  Best of luck to you in medical school!!  -Classy Career Girl
(photo by lawtonchiles)

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