Survey: Online Networking Sites Capture Interest Of Hiring Managers



MENLO PARK, CA, April 17, 2008 -- Job hopefuls seeking an edge in an increasingly competitive job market shouldn’t overlook online networking sites, a new survey suggests. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of executives interviewed believe professional networking websites -- like LinkedIn -- will prove useful in the search for job candidates in the next three years. And one in three (35 percent) respondents cited social networking sites -- such as Facebook or MySpace -- as a recruiting resource they plan to tap.



The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with 150 senior executives from the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, “Which of the following technology tools do you believe will be most useful in your firm’s recruiting efforts in the next three years?” Their responses:*


Professional networking sites………….


Social networking sites……………….


Video resumes...………............................


Second Life……………………………..


None of these…………………………..


Other/don’t know ……………..……….


* Multiple responses were allowed.



“Maintaining and developing professional contacts has always been a vital job search strategy, and networking websites are another vehicle for doing so,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half and author of Job Hunting For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Networking sites can be used to identify new career opportunities, create online profiles that highlight one’s skills and experience, and build a roster of business contacts over time.”

While embracing technology can be beneficial, Messmer cautioned job seekers not to depend exclusively on the digital world. “Tried-and-true methods such as networking at industry events, submitting well-written resumes and cover letters, and diligently following up with hiring managers are still essential to landing the ideal job,” Messmer said. “Combining personal and online networking offers the best of both worlds.”

Robert Half offers the following tips to make the most out of online networking:

  • Craft your profile carefully. Pay as much attention to the content of your online profile as you would the information in your resume, and ensure the content highlights your professional skills, not just your personal interests. Also double-check for typos and grammatical errors.
  • Ask for recommendations. Most professional networks provide space for others to comment on your work or recommend you to others. Don’t be shy about asking colleagues to post on your site. These testimonials help hiring managers learn more about your experience and work ethic.
  • Build your list of contacts. The more quality contacts you have, the better. Invite trusted friends and colleagues to join your network. If you see an interesting profile in one of their networks, ask them to introduce or refer you to that person.
  • Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see. Job seekers should exercise discretion when posting personal information online. Use privacy settings effectively and make sure that any public messages or images you post don’t detract from your professional image.
  • Don’t stop networking once you have a job. Savvy job seekers continue cultivating their networks after they secure positions. Online networks aren’t just job search tools; they also help you stay up-to-date on industry trends, find mentors who can offer valuable career advice, and alert you to upcoming events and educational opportunities.

Robert Half has more than 360 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services at




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