About a month ago I began a proactive job hunt experiment – Use Facebook Ads to target potential employers, and use a landing page to see if I could sell them on my potential.

I have always questioned traditional job hunting methods. Everybody is creating the same bland one column, Times New Roman, 1-inch-margin resume. How are you supposed to stand out from the pack if you do the same things that everybody else does? Even if you submit a well designed resume with decent credentials, the chances of an employer calling you back are slim.

I decided to take a different approach. Rethink the channel for job candidacy. Using specifically targeted Facebook advertisements, I created different ads targeting companies in industries that interested me. I gave myself $150 and about two weeks to see what would happen.

 

The results? I placed my first Facebook Ads and got a phone call the following afternoon from a startup in Los Angeles (hence the post name). As a result of this campaign I scheduled five interviews, received 18 job related emails, and had others wishing me luck. I had two blog posts written about the campaign. One from Tom Singer, College Student Seeks PR Job and Goes Beyond the Normal Path to Get Noticed, which was picked up by the Texas Entrepreneur Network. The other post was by Dave Ambrose, founder of Scoop St., a company similar to FRUGGL.

The most important part of this campaign is your landing page. This is where potential employers that click your ad will be directed. Do not simply send employers to your LinkedIn, or Visual CV page. Great advertising for a product with a terrible presentation does not lead to any sales.

If you do not have a website that you can create a landing page for go to Weebly and use their editor to create a presentable website. Weebly requires no coding experience and is my favorite of all the browser-based website builders. I have used Weebly to create landing pages to test product ideas, as well as a landing page for my internship search a year ago. It is free, easy and only takes an hour or so to put together.

I have split tested several landing pages, with the sales letter with my picture being the most effective. Many hate the sales letter look of things, including me. Every time I see such a layout I automatically someone is trying to sell me instant weight loss products, or how to get rich quick programs. Similarly it is hard to argue with results and the sales letter layout has performed the best. I am currently working on a video to test on the pages, but that is a “how to” post for another time.

Setting up Facebook Ads

Start by going to facebook.com/advertising/ and click Create an Ad.

Set the Destination to External URL. Now place the URL of your landing page, blog, video resume. This is where potential employers will be redirected when they click your ad.

Find a picture of you and shrink it to 110 x 80 pixels, the maximum size for a Facebook Ad. Make sure it is a good one. The image is the first thing that attracts attention, thus the most important part of the ad.

Come up with a title that will grab attention. Ask a question. If you want to target a specific company mention their name in the title.

The  body is where you explain who you are and what you want. Make sure you have a call to action.

This is where you decide what employers to target. Where do you want to work? Who do you want to work for? These are all factors to consider when targeting employers.

If you want to work for a company in California, add it under location. If you want to work for Facebook, add it under workplaces (you may have to click Show Advanced Targeting Options under Connections). If you want to work For Facebook, but only in their Palo Alto headquarters add both parameters.

You will notice the estimated reach will change as you add and remove, locations, interests and workplaces. This is the pool of people that will see your ad. Try not to let your pool drop below 100 people. A small pool will make it difficult for your ad to appear.

If you don’t have a company in mind click Switch to Precise Interest Targeting. If you are looking for a general PR job, public relations should be one of your targeted interests. If you want to work at a big company human resources should be in there as well as recruiter. You can see some of my general interest targeting parameters below.

NOTE: This section includes everyone who has at least one of the interests in their profile. Someone may see this ad that is interested in #Marketing, but not #Human Resources.

Create a new Campaign. Call it Hire me, or something of the sort. I ran my campaign for 15 days with a daily budget of $10 per day.

Click Set a Different Bid (Advanced Mode) if it is not already chosen.

Make sure you have Pay for Clicks (CPC) Selected. This will only charge you whenever somebody clicks on your ad.

When setting the bid I generally bid 10 to 15 cents above the suggested bid. In the example below I bid 50 cents per click. This gets your ad out to more people, so you can see how well it performs.

Facebook  charges less per click for ads that perform well. After about 10 clicks I move the bid price closer to the average CPC. In the example below the Price is the average CPC, while Bid is the maximum I will pay for a click.

Don’t stop now. The most efficient way to run a Facebook Advertising campaign is to create several ads. This makes guarantees that only your best ads are being seen, which costs you less in the long run.

I hope that some of the information in this post was useful, and that it helps somebody find a job.

As for me, I am in the process interviewing. I am giving myself to the beginning of February before I accept any offers. There are several other job search ideas I have yet to test.

…And for those  interested in the specifics of my campaign.

  • Reach: 154, 010
  • Clicks: 634
  • CTR: 0.137%
  • Introductions: 18
  • Interviews: 5
  • Cost: $148.42
  • Run Time: 15 days