Social Networks Good For Your Career

    April 25, 2007

Social networking is for more than just keeping in touch with family and friends. Business related social networking sites are useful for both employers and job seekers.

LinkedIn, a well-known career social network, reported 89 percent growth in members from 2005-2006. The site has seen strong growth since its first year, when they had 85,000 members and has grown to more than eight million members.

Some large U.S. employers are turning to social networking sites to search for qualified candidates who may not be actively looking for a job. Job hunters are not only searching online classifieds, but also are likely to view themselves as brands to be marketed online.

Younger workers are more likely to use career social networking sites for job development, according to a survey by SelectMinds. For young workers these sites act as a "job search engine", providing them with both useful and credible career information.

Most young workers view career networks as useful. Close to three quarters of GenYers said they viewed the networks as very important, compared to 66 percent of workers age 30-39, and 61 percent of workers age 40 and above.

eMarketer senior analyst Jeffrey Grau notes that "the proliferation of social networking sites, blogs and online discussion groups organized around niche topics enables employers to find job candidates with specialized knowledge and skills."

Mr. Grau added that the rise of business-specific social networks "does not reduce the importance of job-hunting sites. Besides the large, general job boards, there are a host of niche sites that specialize by, among other things, industry, geographic region and occupation. Niche sites such as these are ideal arenas for online advertisers looking to target their messages."