Let’s look at some raw figures for three of the major social-networking sites as of early 2009:
- No. 1 business networking site with 35 million active users, more than the population of Canada. Users represent 150 industries.
- Average user is approximately 39 years old, and about 12 percent are in senior-management roles. About half of users are interested in learning about new career opportunities
- Maintains an “online resume” of each user
- Most highly indexed social network.
- Reaches at least 39 percent of all adults
- 253 million active users (more than the population of Indonesia, the fourth largest country)
- At least 66 percent of MySpace’s audience consists of people ages 25+
- Fastest-growing demographic is the 25+ age group with more than 30 million active users
- 95 percent of college students and recent grads are active users, according to Rothberg
- 140 million total users (according to Wikipedia), just slightly less than the population of Russia, the world’s ninth most populous nation.
These and other social-networking sites are exploding. Wikipedia lists more than 100 social-networking sites, and those are just the “notable” ones. Some recruiters are using them to find candidates, while job-seekers are using some of the sites to get “found.” We saw in the previous chapter that many hiring decision-makers research candidates through search engines like Google. The same is true of researching applicants through their presence on social-media venues. BusinessWeek reports that 87 percent of recruiters use Google and social networks to decide about candidates. “In executive circles, having a LinkedIn profile is becoming as expected as being searched on Google,” says Deborah Wile Dib, a CEO coach with multiple certifications in personal branding, resume writing, and career coaching. “Not having one is almost a negative.”