4 Facebook Apps for Job Hunters
It used to be easy to tell LinkedIn and Facebook apart: One was for business, and the other was for fun.
But as Facebook amassed members -- it's up to more than 850 million and counting -- a funny thing happened. Companies started using the site to look for employees, and Facebook members started using it to look for potential employers.
It didn't take long for enterprising software developers to smell an opportunity. Over the past 18 months, a handful have taken advantage of Facebook's open source code to build apps that let people create LinkedIn-style business networks based on but separate from their existing network of Facebook friends. Developers also have created apps that let businesses post job openings on corporate Facebook pages so users of the giant social network can see and apply for positions without having to click over to a company's career website.
It's too soon to say whether these free Facebook job hunting apps will give LinkedIn a serious run for its money as the preeminent online network for job seekers. But one of the oldest apps -- BranchOut -- has grown to 3.8 million users in less than two years.
If you're interested, here's more on what several of these career apps have to offer. (The number of monthly users for each is based on Facebook statistics as of Feb. 13.)
Debuted: June 2011
Monthly users: 250,000
Description: This app from job-board giant Monster Worldwide lets job seekers create a private, LinkedIn-style professional network based on but different from their Facebook accounts. BeKnown users can create a profile that includes their skills and work history; send invitations to Facebook friends to join their BeKnown network; and exchange private messages with other BeKnown users. The app is linked to Monster's many job boards. Instead of visiting Monster.com to search for jobs, BeKnown users can look up available positions by job title or city and get results without having to leave the app. This week, Monster released an updated version of BeKnown that makes it easier to share individual and company profiles on Timeline, Facebook's redesigned profile page.
Debuted: July 2010
Monthly users: 3.8 million
Description: BranchOut was the first and remains the largest professional networking app for Facebook. Like BeKnown, BranchOut lets job seekers build a virtual network of business connections that's separate from their Facebook accounts. Job seekers can use the app to upload a resume. They also can send messages to people in their BranchOut network or recommend people they've worked with -- a feature that mimics some of LinkedIn's standard features. Like LinkedIn, job hunters also can use BranchOut to look up individuals or companies, and search through a database of 3 million jobs and 20,000 internships. BranchOut is building on its success by taking its app to other job sites; in late 2011, the company announced a deal to add the app to job sites run by CareerBuilder, starting with CareerRookie, a job board for entry-level positions.
Debuted: Summer 2011
Monthly users: 100,000
Description: Glassdoor.com started three years ago as a website where job hunters could post public reviews of what it was like to interview with a particular company -- think of it as a TripAdvisor for careers. In summer 2011, Glassdoor introduced an app that brought its reviews inside Facebook, plus a lot more. Today, job hunters can use the app to look up salary data on thousands of jobs, from public relations executive to software developer to pharmacist. The app has a job search feature that pulls openings from several leading job boards as well as listings that companies submit. App users also can read dossiers on thousands of companies, some of which have posted pictures of their offices, all the better to entice prospective employees.
Debuted: January 2010
Monthly users: 20,000
Description: In addition to working with BranchOut, CareerBuilder has its own app that Facebook members can use to share open jobs at their companies with their Facebook friends. Once employees add the Work@ app to Facebook accounts, they can post a messages on their wall with information about job openings or send a private Facebook message about a position to a friend in their network.
Read more: SecondAct's Job Hunting 2012 Series
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