In the past, Facebook was used to show updates to our friends, post photos from our latest trips, or comment on a news event. However, the focus of Facebook is shifting: For many, Facebook is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for job seekers to find their dream jobs, and it’s easy to see why. As of Dec. 2012, there were more than a billion active users on the platform, 618 million of whom were active daily—meaning most people have and use Facebook in large doses.

While utilizing Facebook for job searching purposes isn’t a new phenomenon, there are some new trends and rules we should keep in mind. Understanding these trends can help you to get ahead in your search. Here are a few to note:

1. Take advantage of Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph search is essentially an in-depth search engine for Facebook. For instance, you can search for people by their interests, likes, where they’ve been, their photos, groups or organizations they’re associated with, etc. Although it’s not open to all users yet, Graph Search will eventually help users to find contacts in a more streamlined way.

How job seekers can use it: Job seekers can use Facebook Graph Search in a few ways. First, they’ll be able to find companies based on their interests; for instance, companies that have a large NYU alumni network. In addition, Graph Search can open up the gates for some targeted networking. So, if you wanted to find a specific NYU contact in an organization, you’ll be able to do so.

2. Use threaded comments

Threaded comments are a new Facebook capability. Users are now able to reply individually to a specific comment on Pages, instead of just commenting at the bottom of a thread. This helps to create a more concrete conversation, so if you wanted to reply to a specific person who you may not be friends with, you can do so directly.

How job seekers can use it: Threaded comments bring your thoughts to the forefront of the discussion. For example, if an organization started a thread about industry news, you’re now able to reply directly to the company, a member of the organization, or someone influential. This shows your knowledge while also keeping active, and can help you make connections with organizations and thought leaders in your industry.

3. Understand the power of mobile

Many of us are on the go at all times. In fact, 680 million Facebook users take advantage of mobile applications in order to use the platform, helping us to stay connected with our friends, family, and members of our network even if we are a million miles away from our computers.

How job seekers can use it: Facebook applications for mobile are constantly improving, which means job seekers who understand the power of mobile always have an advantage. For example, recent messaging updates allow you to multi-task: You can now chat with a contact or an employer while checking for updates on your feed at the same time.

In addition, you’re now able to add cover photos directly from your phone, so if you’re job searching and want to display a recent accomplishment or an image showing why you’re a great candidate, you can do so through your mobile device. Your profile is updated immediately, so employers are aware of your benefits at a moment’s notice.

The momentum of Facebook doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon. If you’re using the platform for job searching, make sure you take advantage of its many capabilities so you’re that much closer to your dream job.

What do you think? What are some other new rules for job searching on Facebook?

Here is a list of things you should do (or not do) in online venues like Facebook:: How to Avoid Getting Fired by Facebook

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