The diverging effects of social network sites on receiving job information for students and professionals

B.C. Rienties, D.T. Tempelaar, M. Pinckaerts, S.J.H. Giesbers, L. Lichel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


An increasing number of students, professionals, and job-recruiters are using Social Network Sites (SNSs) for sharing information. There has been limited research assessing the role of individuals seeking a job and receiving information about job openings in SNSs. In this regard, do students, non-managers, and managers benefit from job offers when they are a member of SNSs such as Facebook or LinkedIn? How can differences in receiving information about job openings be explained by the strength-of-weak-ties and structural holes theorems? Results of an online survey among 386 respondents indicate that users of SNSs with more contacts are more likely to receive information about job openings than others. Most information about job openings was transmitted via LinkedIn to professionals. Regression analyses indicate that LinkedIn professionals with more links are more likely to receive information about a job opening. In contrast, the structural holes theory is not supported in this setting. The authors argue that Higher education should actively encourage and train students to use LinkedIn to enhance their employability. Finally, new generation graduates’ use of technology for different tasks and with different people than professionals is considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Sociotechnology and Knowledge Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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