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How Facebook’s Graph Search Is Good for Your Career


Facebook has become one of the most renowned forms of social engagement and sharing for people around the world — and now it’s taking it one step further. We’ll examine how Facebook has now adapted its platform to cater to the needs of the professional world, too.

facebook for professionals

(Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr)

Earlier this year, Facebook introduced Graph Search, which is an enhanced version of its original search box, with the objective of allowing users to “unlock the value of [the site’s data] and to make it all searchable,” according to Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land at Facebook. Before Graph Search, Facebook was simply a “high-tech scrapbook” that people voluntarily updated, according to an interview. That voluntarily updated data comes in handy when someone is searching for specific data or individuals (e.g. a hiring manager scouting out qualified candidates).

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Graph Search functions much like Google search, but results aren’t pulled from the entire Web, rather they’re confined to only Facebook data that users have voluntarily input and shared. We keep saying “voluntarily” because it’s important to note that Graph Search honors individual user’s privacy settings, with only un-private or public data turning up in the results. With billions of people on Facebook sharing information constantly, it makes sense that the company would want to capitalize on … we mean, use that data to benefit its users and make the site more searchable and, in turn, more engaging.

Graph Search uses natural language to search for people, places, and things on Facebook. For instance, if you’re a job seeker who is looking to relocate to Seattle for a software engineering position, then you can literally type, “Friends who live in Seattle and who are software engineers,” into the Graph Search field, and Facebook will produce a list of people in your network who fit the bill. What’s more, the newly enhanced search engine also allows you to search outside of your network as well, so if you want to know if you have a second-degree connection that lives in Seattle and works as a software engineer, then you can simply type in the above criteria, except replace “Friends” with “Friends of Friends.”

Here’s where adding your professional experience and interesting tidbits about your life go hand-in-hand with Graph Search. Recruiters can and will use every social network known to man to see if you’re cut out for the job, and Facebook is no exception. You want to be sure that you show up on that results page when hiring managers a conduct Graph Search for candidates in a certain geographical location, possessing certain skills, and with a particular level of education. To be one of those lucky candidates listed, you need to input data so that Facebook can recognize your profile as a match. Capiche?

Hat tip to Levo League for their stellar article on how Facebook Graph Search can help professionals land their dream jobs.

Please don’t underestimate the leg-up that Facebook is providing you as a professional. And, remember, now that this social networking site has made searching everything about you possible, you might want to consider how to keep those not-so-career-friendly posts private.

For a bit of humor to lighten up the day, check out a compilation of some of the most outlandish, yet entertaining, Graph Searches found on Facebook. You’re welcome.

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How has social media helped boost (or ruin) your career? Share your story with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.


Leah Arnold-Smeets
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