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Facebook, Feds Team To Help Job Seekers

Social Jobs Partnership aims to connect people with employment resources.

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The Department of Labor has teamed with Facebook and others to help people use social networks to find jobs.

As part of the collaboration--in which the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, DirectEmployers Association, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) also are participating--Facebook has launched a new page devoted to the initiative, called the Social Jobs Partnership. The page provides resources on training programs, educational opportunities, and job searching.

Facebook also will post public service announcements online in targeted geographic areas experiencing high unemployment to drive traffic to the new page, according to the Department of Labor. Additionally, all of the Social Jobs Partnership's partners are providing information about the employment resources and other services they have available on the page.

[LinkedIn has been the social network of choice for recruiters and job seekers, but new Facebook-oriented professional networks aim to change that. Still, LinkedIn doesn't see Facebook as a threat. Learn why.]

Social media is becoming key to job searching and recruitment, a trend that spurred the creation of the initiative, officials said.

More than 70% of college career centers have a Facebook page, according to research by NACE, and 92% of respondents to a 2010 Jobvite poll said that they either have recruited employees or plan to do so through the social network, according to information about the initiative Facebook has posted online.

"Linking American job seekers with the resources they need to get back to work is a top priority of the Obama administration and my department," said Labor secretary Hilda L. Solis in a press statement. "By leveraging the power of the social Web, this initiative will provide immediate, meaningful, and ready-to-use information for job seekers and employers, and a modern platform to better connect them."

Last month, President Obama launched a broad initiative to help unemployed Americans get back to work called the American Jobs Act, which he's currently stumping for in a bus tour for across the nation. The bill, which Congress is still considering, aims to invest about $450 million in job-creation measures.

In addition to leveraging Facebook itself, the Social Jobs Partnership also will engage in research to find out how job seekers, college career centers, and recruiters are using social networks to either find jobs or hire employees.

Partners also will research and create systems that can deliver job postings virally through Facebook free of charge, as well as promote existing public-sector employment programs and resources through social media, they said.

Finally, the partnership will provide recruiters, government agencies, and job seekers with educational materials about how to use social media effectively.

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