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“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

“Find a Better Job” meets LinkedIn’s Browser Toolbar

Posted by direwolff on October 14, 2007

Keeping up with the coolness factor and the possibilities emerging from Facebook providing access to the social graph is dizzying, to say the least. So today, after seeing that some friends on Facebook had downloaded CareerBuilder’s “Find a Better Job” app, I thought it worthwhile to check out, after all it’s always good to keep one’s job options open…ha-ha-ha! Actually, it was more wanting to understand how CareerBuilder (CB), who has a habit of experimenting with new environments ahead of the pack, would be leveraging Facebook.

CB was one of the first to experiment with RSS feeds under a different brand so as not to create conflicts with their existing content distribution channels. While at Tribe, I had the pleasure of interacting regularly with them as they were one of main sources of revenue through a favorable deal we had with them as a result of Knight-Ridder being an investor in both of our companies. The lesson learned from working with them is that they’re always ready to try something new and push the envelope on ways of leveraging their content in ways that make sense. They take a very pragmatic approach and measure results like crazy.

The first thing that struck me after subscribing to the application were the tabs that appeared at the top of the application page. The first two were pretty generic, “Home” and “Invite your friends!”, but the next two caught my eye, “Jobs in Industrial Management” and “Carnegie Mellon Jobs”. So this suggests that the app definitely picked up on my information, specifically my major and where I attended undergraduate school. Sadly, the implementations of these two tabs are light since they’re simply doing keyword matching and a poor attempt at that. For example, under “Industrial Management”, several results showed up that simply used the word “industrial” in the job title or description. As you can imagine, there were many more irrelevant jobs there than relevant. Given that my profile contains my job history, you’d think they would have used that information. No matter, as that’s not what caught my attention most.

After seeing the list of jobs, I clicked on one to see the behavior, which linked to the CB job description page on their site, but here’s where the magic kicked in. Since I also have a LinkedIn browser toolbar installed, all of a sudden a sidebar appeared as shown below…

Clicking on the “5” next to “in your network work at Truveo and open to helping you” in the LinkedIn sidebar, links over to the LinkedIn page shown below, which we’re all so familiar with…

What caught my attention in all of this was the clear distinction between Facebook and LinkedIn and why LinkedIn should be creating and integrating an app into Facebook as fast as possible. Where Facebook is more of a platform, LinkedIn is more of a professional network, where my more professional resume and contacts sit. Sure, Facebook could enter this space, but why? There is so much more for them to do with opening up their social graph and supporting new types of applications, that it’s worth seeding this business and job network connectivity to others. The interplay of these two services can be made more smooth with the proper integration so that serendipity that occurred here starts to happens by design. Given all of the professional contact controls provided by LinkedIn that would not have great applicability in Facebook, and the controlled access they provide to even people you don’t know but want to meet, it seems clear that these two services should operate better together.

Another thing that caught my attention is while there are a lot of high-tech ways that are being figured out to open the social graph across all networks, small innovative apps like “Find a Better Job” may prove to be the best way to address this in a low tech way. If LinkedIn or Facebook had asked for my handle or the e-mail address I use across the other service, I would have provided it without concern given the clear value that would come back to me as a result of doing so. There’s an obvious reason to the end-user for wanting to connect these two networks in the context of the job hunting exercise.

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