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Social networking websites for the professional world

For many college students social networking takes a top-notch on the priority ladder. So where does that leave a college student who wants to stay socially connected as well as organize their future career after graduation? Social networking sites such as Monster.com and LinkedIn might offer the ideal segue into the professional world. 

These websites are created with the sole purpose of facilitating job-hunting for employees and employers as well as helping people along with career building and social networking. LinkedIn, is a free website designed for registered users to make a profile and create and maintain a list of contact people they know and trust in business, known on the site as “connections.” LinkedIn has over 500,000 groups on specialized subjects that people can join to share ideas and make new connections. 

When a person makes connections of people they know or would like to know, the list of connections can be used in a number of ways to advance one’s career path. Connections can help people find jobs and recommend business opportunities.

Employers can list job openings and members can search companies or positions they may be interested in working. When searching a company on the website, information which is provided can include the type of company, its size, male to female ratio, common job titles and a list of past, present and former employers. A person is also able to look at the job description and the job skill requirements among other features. If you are interested in the job you have the option to apply immediately and upload a resume directly to the website.

According to Lisa Hamel, banking center manager in charge of hiring at the Amherst Bank of America, said that more and more companies are using sites like Monster.com, Job Finder and LinkedIn because networks like this help firms to cut the cost of hiring headhunters to search for employers. It also allows companies to sort between good and bad candidates much faster and efficiently than traditional recruitment processes. 

Hamel said that Bank of America uses these websites, particularly Monster.com, to search for employers. She said that she hires a headhunter but the entire process is much easier because  these websites are specifically designed to find employees with the best qualifications.

Sam Guigli, a junior English major at UMass, said that he believes that social networking sites like LinkedIn are really important because, “you are able to see the requirements of a company and they are able to see your skills and right away find out if you are a good match without having to initially waste time going out and being disappointed.”

Maggie Freleng can be reached at mfreleng@student.umass.edu.

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