Want to find a new job? Ask your friends. Better yet, ask your friends online.
A recent study by the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University found that job seekers who use social media are more likely to find work.
Sociologists often attribute a lot of importance to something called “weak ties,” meaning the connections we have with looser acquaintances, rather than close friends. The idea, generally, is that people who have lots of weak ties are more likely to hear about job opportunities, because casual friends are likely to introduce you to job openings that you wouldn’t hear about through close friends.
The study found just the opposite, however.
“People who talked more with strong ties were twice as likely to find a new job within three months,” wrote study coauthor Moira Burke. “And those who talked more with weak ties were less likely to find a job.”
The researchers has several ideas about why this was the case:
1. People don’t find out about job opportunities from their weak ties.
2. People don’t reveal their unemployed status to connections who aren’t close friends.
3. Strong ties are more likely to go the extra mile to help out their friends.
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