October 20, 2011; Source: Scribbal | Facebook is creating a dynamic partnership aimed to help the unemployed find jobs through social networking. The Social Jobs Partnership (SJP) involves the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), Direct Employers Association (DE) and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). Through their Facebook page SJP hopes to link Facebook users to the right opportunities to land that dream job.

The Social Jobs Partnership page also offers helpful career resources like My Skills My Future, Registered Apprenticeships, and Job Corps. If college graduates don’t feel qualified for their desired job, taking an apprenticeship or a free training program through one of the many available programs could provide that extra piece of flair that every resume needs these days.

Speaking at a Social Jobs Partnership press conference on October 20, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said,

Why is the Social Jobs Partnership [important] and what does it mean? Because it increases our access to broader audiences to deliver just-in-time, high-value services. Frequently our agencies, which we are not proud of, hear that [our] 2,801 stops across the country are the best-kept secret. Our data, information, and services are valuable only when people know about us. The partnership here today illustrates the public sector’s ability to innovate and respond to the market place and embrace social media. Just think of the expanded audience we can reach with our partnership with Facebook.

Online search has become the primary way to find a job, so it seems only natural that the next step would be to bring social media tactics into play. Even the U.S. Army is now targeting new recruits through social media channels. In 2011, over 90 percent of college students had active profiles on Facebook. Is there any other online social networking platform that can claim to have such a dedicated college audience?

This could also mean that Facebook has plans to introduce its own job recruitment feature. Should there be a fine line between social networking sites that are aimed at business-related social networking and social media for casual interactions?

The SJP Facebook page also describes the partnership’s plans to pursue initiatives designed to more effectively influence social networks in the job market

Will Facebook’s initiative cannibalize the work of sites like LinkedIn and Idealist.org? What do you think of this new development? —Aine Creedon