Muscling in on LinkedIn’s Territory, Facebook Increasingly Appeals to Job Hunters

Facebook isn’t just a social network anymore. It is increasingly a place for a maturing user base to form connections of a professional kind. As younger users desert the network for greener, more private pastures, Facebook is starting to become the kind of place rival LinkedIn has always striven to be, apparently even without trying.

One long-time self-employed personnel expert, for example, recently found in Facebook a good way to obtain employment of a more permanent sort. With a successful career of years of personnel consulting behind her, Mary Blanchette put feelers out to a Facebook network that included plenty of appropriately placed people in industry.

Within minutes of a simple post expressing her desire to go to work for a steady employer, she found herself with a number of encouraging responses. As the right kind of activity on social networks is wont to do, that initial response grew quickly, too. Within days, she was interviewing with a few of the top employers in her area, an exciting period that soon led to a new, permanent job.

That is the sort of story that LinkedIn has always promoted as being its specialty. What many users have found over the years there, though, is that however well-developed the professional tools on that site, actual progress can be hard to come by.

The more informal and welcoming nature of Facebook, on the other hand, seems to have something to offer to just about anybody, including those looking to improve their standing and situation in the professional world. Widely trusted and appreciated as a place where social activity abounds, Facebook is also becoming an important tool for career development and recruiting.

As this evolution continues apace, it is to be expected that Facebook will become even more central to the hiring process. Some employers today already refuse to hire those with no Facebook presences to check up on, feeling lone wolves are less likely to meld well with the social environments in their organizations. As stories like Blanchette’s become more common, it is likely that job-seekers, too, will increasingly emphasize Facebook as they look for new opportunities in their fields.