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Facebook: How to make it work for you

Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook has since grown to become one of the most popular and important social media platforms of our time.

With over 1.4 billion accounts and counting, Facebook provides a convenient way to connect with friends and family around the world. The platform makes it easy to post updates, upload images and send messages, but there are also a whole host of other useful features just waiting to be used.

Savvy job hunters are using Facebook to find job openings, and as a way to improve their chances of being headhunted. While LinkedIn may seem like the go-to place for networking, Facebook is over five times larger and holds great power providing you know where to look and how to present yourself on it. Stats also show that 65% of recruiters search on Facebook for potential job candidates.

If you want to get noticed, then start by filling out the work and education section on your profile. Facebook will allow you to list schools, colleges and universities that you have attended, as well as list current jobs, previous jobs and accomplishments. You can also look for individuals, events and companies by using keywords to search in the box at the top of your Facebook profile.

A big thumbs up from Facebook

A big thumbs up from Facebook

Facebook groups provide you with a way to learn more about a chosen subject, to meet friends interested in a topic or even to look for job listings. There are three different privacy settings for groups on Facebook: public, closed and private. You will have to be accepted by the moderator to join a closed group and be personally invited to join a private one. If you can't find a group that you are looking for, then why not start one of your own? It is a great way to get your name out there and share knowledge on a topic that interests you or on an industry that you would like to work in.

Although it will make connecting to potential job-seekers more difficult, if privacy is a major issue for you, Facebook gives you the option of restricting who can view your profile, and what they can view. To do this, set your entire account to private, so that only Facebook friends can view what's on your wall. You can also keep your friend lists private, or classify friends according to workmates, family or social friends if you want to.

Aside from being used as a social tool, Facebook plays a valuable role in job seeking if you want it to. The key is to decide whether you want your profile to be professional or for social purposes only and then tweak your visible information and images accordingly.