Perceived effectiveness of social networks for job search

Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet, Yair Bratspiess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


One of the most common uses of the capabilities of social networks is for professional, and business purposes. The literature presents conflicting evidence as to the effectiveness of different networks for professional purposes. Therefore, our primary research aim is to conduct a comparative investigation of the effectiveness and factors which influence the effectiveness of different social networks for finding a job. This study focuses on the two most popular networks, Facebook and LinkedIn; the former is not intended specifically for professional purposes while the latter is. To this end, we conducted a user study based on over 220 responses to a questionnaire especially designed for this goal. In our analysis, we distinguish and compare between the users' perceptions and attitudes toward the effectiveness of the network and its actual helpfulness for finding a job in past experience. Our results indicate that different demographic and network usage variables influence the attitude to effectiveness and helpfulness of the networks. Thus, users with lower incomes preferred Facebook, while more educated users with higher incomes perceived LinkedIn as more effective. Interestingly, we found that despite the fact that LinkedIn was perceived as significantly more effective for finding a job by the majority of the users, the actual helpfulness of the two networks was assessed as quite similar. Our findings provide direct evidence for bridging social capital increase by online social networks. This study has practical implications and recommendations that will enable job candidates to improve their job-hunting strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by De Gruyter.


  • Israel
  • employment
  • job hunting
  • networking
  • recruitment
  • social media


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