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


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

Coding and Invention Made Fun

By: Special Guest    10/12/2018

SAM is a series of kits that integrates hardware and software with the Internet. Combining wireless building blocks composed of sensors and actors con…

Read More

Facebook Marketplace Now Leverages AI

By: Paula Bernier    10/3/2018

Artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Facebook's announcement this week is just another example of how this …

Read More

Oct. 17 Webinar to Address Apache Spark Benefits, Tools

By: Paula Bernier    10/2/2018

In the upcoming webinar "Apache Spark: The New Enterprise Backbone for ETL, Batch and Real-time Streaming," industry experts will offer details on clo…

Read More

It's Black and White: Cybercriminals Are Spending 10x More Than Enterprises to Control, Disrupt and Steal

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/26/2018

In a stunning new report by Carbon Black, "Hacking, Escalating Attacks and The Role of Threat Hunting" the company revealed that 92% of UK companies s…

Read More

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More