The Problem with Facebook Jobs
It’s fall during my senior year of college. All of my “academically and experientially equal” peers from the last couple years got jobs during this period paying $70k+. I haven’t. I’m terrified.
After working for a great social media startup, MyCube, this summer I decided that I think I want to work on the business-side of dot.com startups. Logically I understand the salary limitations of this, but I’m also graduating with 2+ years of professional experience from internships so I feel like I should be able to find something in between “white shoe high” and “startup low.” To reach this el dorado of jobs, I applied for a position as a product manager at Facebook.
With some press, Facebook has recently begun looking into developing itself as a competitor to LinkedIn and Monster through it’s Social Jobs Partnership with the Department of Labor. And unbeknownst to me as I clicked over to apply to from VentureLoop, I was taken through an application process through my Facebook Account. And that was when I knew I would probably never work at Facebook, and that the Social Jobs Partnership wouldn’t be too useful for most people under 25.
Like many in my age group, I came of age on Facebook. In High School I posted freely and carelessly: teenage angst, obnoxious jokes, and my first experiences at college all made it into Facebook’s web of servers and permanently onto the online world. It wasn’t until a job told me to expect my account searched for that I ever considered covering up.
Now, Facebook lists greatly limit the access I give my family to pictures of college hijinks, more conservative friending limits the number of ‘I have no idea who you are’s on my friends list, and almost nobody can even search for my profile. I’ve noticed others do it too, middle names have become last names and I often find myself friended by people who have limited their viewing settings to the point where I can’t even figure out who they are. For many of my closest “real life” friends, Facebook has become a limited place to share funny and embarrassing memories with a few, select friends. For older family members, Facebook has become the realm of sharing baby photos and showing off yardwork. Which is why Facebook’s attempts at expanding into online job search requires a serious overhaul.
I think I speak for most people under 24 (or 12% of the unemployed workforce according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) who use Facebook (under 25 year olds represent 40% of Facebook users according to a report by Ken Burbary) that the idea of applying to a job anywhere with my regular Facebook account doesn’t make sense. I have a LinkedIn account specifically for the purpose of separating out “Aspiring Professional Stefan” from “College Stefan.” And if Facebook's Social Jobs Partnership and aspirations as a Jobs portal wants to find any sort of success, Facebook needs to allow people to separate their different adjectives into different accounts.
Other Posts by Stefan Seltz-Axmacher
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