Job Seekers Turn to Facebook for Job Hunting

Facebook is emerging as the leading social network when it comes to job hunting. By a margin approaching 2-to-1, job seekers credit Facebook with helping them get their current job.

LinkedIn ran a distant second, with 46 percent of job seekers attributing their job to that business-oriented network. Twitter, the short messaging network, got a thumbs-up for its job help from 36 percent.

Those are among the findings of Jobvite’s Social Job Seeker Survey 2011 released this morning. The survey doesn’t say how the social networking helped the job-seekers. Other data suggests it may mean seekers researched the companies on social networks, reached out to their contacts for information, got a referral, or were contacted directly. Since most job seekers use more than one social network, the numbers add up to more than 100 percent.

In terms of sheer numbers, the results are not too surprising. Facebook has in excess of 800 million members, while LinkedIn has about 135 million. What is surprising, however, is that by an even larger margin recruiters in an earlier Jobvite survey reported making hires through LinkedIn.

Nevertheless, regardless of which social network they prefer, job seekers with the most contacts do more job hunting and get better results than their counterparts with fewer than 150 connections, friends, or followers. Of these “super social” job seekers as Jobvite calls them, 28 percent found a job directly through their online social networking.

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As you might expect, Facebook has the largest percentage of super social job seekers — 37 percent — compared to LinkedIn’s 10 percent and Twitter’s 11 percent. Super socials, as the Jobvite survey discovered, are young and strong earners: 62% percent are under 40; 42 percent earn over $75,0;0, and 40 percent have a college degree. They divide almost evenly on gender with 49 percent female.

“Our new national survey shows that socially savvy job seekers have an advantage over their fellow job hunters and it’s paying off,” said Dan Finnigan, Jobvite president and CEO. “While referrals are still the top source of new jobs, online social networks play an increasingly important role in job hunting today.”

One curious data point is the number of workers who, Jobvite reports, say they find their job through social networking. Jobvite puts the count at more than 22 million, an increase of 7.6 million since its 2010 survey. If that’s accurate, then 15.8 percent of the 48 million jobs filled in the year ending Sept. 30 would be the result of social networks.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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