Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

The Psychological Ways Facebook May Be Impacting Your Job Search

We all know social media is an important tool in your job search. It’s also no secret that most of us are addicted to some form of it outside our job search comings and goings. So even when we job seekers are just perusing for our own fun, we’re likely to face job news from our friends. Whether it’s a status update proclaiming a new raise, a new job being added to someone’s profile, or a picture of that awesome work happy hour your friend is at, job seekers are bombarded with unfriendly reminders of their unemployment. What affect does Facebook, and social media in general, play psychologically in your search?

Carnegie Mellon and Facebook partnered on a study to see how much of an impact the social media giant has on a job seeker’s psyche. The first thing the study found was that Facebook users who connected with close friends on the social media site, instead of acquaintances, found more job successes, despite not necessarily expanding their network as much. One explanation for this, as offered by the study, is that Facebook acts more as a motivating factor. Rather than just allowing job seekers to interact with potentially important contacts, Facebook also connects job seekers with close friends who may ask for a resume they can pass around, or refer job seekers to friends who may be looking for candidates.

The study also showed that Facebook relationships often exacerbated stress levels for job seekers in the short-term. Job seekers said they felt burdened with increasing questions, even by well wishers, of their job status. Over time, things seemed to level off, with job seekers reporting increased support from close ties on the social media site.

As social media continues to grow, so too will the impact it has on job seekers. Facebook and other social media sites may be impacting job seekers in ways they may not realize. Rather than get yourself down about Facebook updates with friend’s jobs, or the constant questioning from people you know, own the advantages it gives you.

Do you feel burdened by unemployment whenever someone advertises their career successes on Facebook? Share with us below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by benstein

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.