Can Talking to Your Facebook Friends Help You Find a Job?

By Brittany Walters-Bearden March 15, 2013

Finding a job through interactions on social networking sites is becoming increasingly popular, and it isn’t just limited to LinkedIn anymore. Moira Burke, of Facebook, and Robert Kraut, of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, teamed up to create a whitepaper examining the influence of communicating with Facebook friends after losing a job.

The piece is called, “Using Facebook after Losing a Job: Differential Benefits of Strong and Weak Ties.”

In a note on Facebook, Moira Burke explained the difference between strong ties and weak ties: strong ties are close friends and family members, whereas weak ties are acquaintances; “Think- your sister's roommate, or that random friend-of-a-friend you met at a party.” 

Traditional wisdom indicates that since most people know the same people as their strong ties do and weak ties come from an array of backgrounds and know vastly different people, weak ties are, in fact, more often the source of a job lead than strong ties.

Burke and Kraut surveyed 3,000 Facebook users about their use of Facebook to cope with major life changes. Among them were 169 people who had lost a job. The duo took it a step further, repeating the survey once a month over the course of three months.

What they found went against traditional wisdom: “Users who spoke more than average with their strong ties were about twice as likely to find a new job than the average job-seeker, while those who talked more than average with weak ties were half as likely.” Burke asserted that this may be because Facebook users do not often share personal details, like loss of employment with their weak ties, and they are more likely to talk about “less important topics, like the Superbowl or their vacation.” 

Strong ties are more likely to show support, she noted, if not offer job leads. “They show concern, give you rides to interviews, and let you vent your worries.”

Burke and Kraut’s study held a twofold interest: First, it revealed how people are using social media and how social media is impacting their lives, and second, it demonstrated how Facebook can serve as a powerful tool for surveying. 

As social media continues to evolve, so do its uses.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More