Facebook launches app to help users find jobs

New app starts with 1.7 million job listings, ranging from engineering to medicine and IT

Watch out, LinkedIn. Facebook is getting in your space.

The social network announced Wednesday that it's launching an app to help users find jobs.

The app, as of Wednesday afternoon, included 1.7 million job listings, in areas including IT/Software Development, Science/Engineering/R&D and Security/Protective Services.

Users can search the jobs database by keyword and location.

The app includes job listings from Monster.com, Work4Labs, BranchOut and the DirectEmployers Association.

"This makes sense for Facebook," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "They haven't done anything like this before, but it's a natural fit for them. People use their network already to find jobs."

According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 50% of employers use Facebook during the hiring process. Employers use social networking sites to screen the profiles of potential employees, checking posts, pictures and video for information ranging from how hard they might party to what they might have said online about previous employers.

Among social networks, LinkedIn is the one generally used by people looking for jobs or business contacts. Gottheil said the network does a solid job of connecting businesses and potential employees, and Facebook's move into this area will be a challenge.

LinkedIn has such a solid position among job hunters that it would take a lot for Facebook to unseat it, he added.

"Facebook's latest move is more of a public service, basically putting a job bank on Facebook, where users can see it," said Gottheil. "LinkedIn is all about jobs. That's the first place people look, and it's where they post almost entirely job-related information. Facebook has a long way to go before it begins to impinge on that space."

Facebook's jobs app is part of the company's Social Jobs Partnership initiative, which was formed in the fall of 2011 in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor and several other labor organizations.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

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Tags IT careerssocial mediainternetLinkedInFacebookInternet-based applications and services

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