Proposal for a Quantitative Research Project

  • Doc File 1,596.50KByte

LinkedIn® -- a Professional Networking Website:

Is it an Effective Job Search Tool for Recent College Graduates?

James A. (Jim) Brandt

Problems in Higher Education (HIGHERED 6497)

University of Missouri, St. Louis

Dr. Shawn Woodhouse, Advisor

May 10, 2010


There are many opinions about the effectiveness of online social media as job search tools, especially for recent college graduates (those completing undergraduate or graduate degrees in the past four years). This is especially true for LinkedIn®, which is widely regarded as the best professional online networking site. However, while anecdotal information and expert opinion is wide spread, no academically structured qualitative or quantitative research ever has been done to evaluate the levels of effectiveness of LinkedIn as a job search tool (personal communication, LinkedIn Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Reid Hoffman, November 19, 2009). This research project generates the first known quantitative findings on the subject.


“Networking” with professional and personal associates has long been considered an essential element of the job search process. “Information networking means identifying people who will know more about a career interest, and simply making contact with them to talk about what they know” (Asher, 2009, p. 93). Traditionally, job seekers call or write individuals they know (or would like to know), ask for their counsel and advice, and request information about mutual areas of interest. Job seekers also attend professional and fraternal events (e.g. Chambers of Commerce gatherings, Lions Club meetings, alumni reunions, etc.) to “meet and greet” people in professional fields and geographic areas in which they’re interested. This information-gathering process frequently takes as much as seventy percent of a successful job hunter’s “search time,” since it is a proven way to uncover employment opportunities that are not advertised or otherwise promoted (Asher, 2009). Many professional employment consultants advise their clients that it is the most effective way to locate career opportunities (Principia, 2009, p. 7:5). As one employment industry expert puts it “networking is not part of your job search – networking is your job search” (Myers, 2009, p. 81),

With the emergence of online professional networking opportunities, however, this aspect of the job search process has changed. Large numbers of job seekers now use online networking tools like LinkedIn, the largest professional networking site, in their career development efforts. Online blogs, mass circulation publications, and the business media frequently point to individual cases of people who have found jobs by using this medium. However, according to Reid Hoffman, Chairman of LinkedIn Corporation, no one ever has formally researched and evaluated the extent or effectiveness of job searches that utilized online professional networking tools (personal communication, November 19, 2009).


Online networking traces its origins back to 1978 “when computer scientist[s] Murray Turoff and S. Roxanne Hiltz established the Electronic Information Exchange System at the New Jersey Institute of Technology” (Acar, 2008, p. 65). However, it wasn’t until the emergences of sites like Friendster, Hot or Not, MySpace, Xanga, Facebook, etc. beginning in 2002 that online networking as we understand it today began to emerge. “The basic premise of social networking sites is the allowance for profile posting that connects via links with friends of the system …” (Watson, Smith & Driver, 2006, p. 1).

However, these early sites, especially Facebook, which dominates today’s market with more than 300 million members throughout the world (Facebook, 2009), focused on social networking, mostly among teens and college-age people. It wasn’t until the establishment of LinkedIn in 2003 that a large, publicly available site dedicated to professional networking appeared, and it took the company until April 2007 to identify its first 10 million members (LinkedIn, 2009).

The differences between social networking sites (e.g. Facebook) and professional networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn) are significant, principally in their intended purposes, in the type and amount of information provided by their respective participants, and the accessibility of the information provided to other participants. Social networking sites, for example, include large numbers of photographs of participants, their families, and their friends, as well as personal and non-professional information. “Essentially, [these sites are] electronic forum[s] in which students (also faculty, alumni, and employers) share photos and personal information, gossip, join groups of friends, and flirt with one another” (as cited in Watson, 2006, p.2). Professional networking sites, conversely, are carefully structured to provide only professional information (e.g. material that often is found on a resume or curriculum vita). Individual participants’ profiles contain few photographs (usually only a professional “portrait”) and emphasize employment history, professional references, educational accomplishments, and other employment credentials. Participants have the opportunity to participate in professional groups where they can discuss professional concerns with others in areas of professional interest, and can provide referrals to others in the same areas (LinkedIn, 2009).

The stated intent of professional networking sites is to allow participants to communicate freely with others in their professional areas of interest. Tylock (2007) describes the process as one of making connections. “Connections,” he claims, “represent trusted relationships. Relationships that help build businesses (sic)” (p. 5). He states that making these connections through websites like LinkedIn is highly “efficient and effective” (p. 5). But, neither Tylock nor other authors of books and articles on the topic offer any quantitative research data to support their claims.

Purpose of the Study – Research Question and Hypothesis

The purpose of this research project is to begin to develop a body of quantitative data with which to evaluate the impact of professional online networking on the job search process of recent college graduates. Significant expert opinion and anecdotal information supports the assumption that person-to-person networking is the most effective job search tool (Myers, 2009; Reeves, 2009; Darling, 2003; Mathison & Finney, 2010; Allen, 2009). In addition, these experts feel that online networking has not, and cannot, replace face-to-face contacts. But in today’s society, job seekers, especially those who grew up in the online society, rely very heavily on impersonal electronic communication. This leads experts to wonder if professional networking via the internet is emerging as a significant job search technique, and if it is effective.

There is a single, two-part research question that guided this study: (Q1): Is online networking via LinkedIn widely used by recent college graduates as a job search tool, and is it effective? By asking this question and structuring the initial research investigation to address it, the author planned to develop and evaluate an initial set of descriptive data that would validate or refute the following preliminary assumption: (H1) Online professional networking has not yet surpassed the use and effectiveness of other tools or techniques used in the job search process by recent college graduates.

Literature Review

There is a dearth of publicly available or published research findings regarding the effectiveness of LinkedIn as a job search tool. While extensive narrative and anecdotal information regarding the website and its many uses has been printed widely in business media such as Advertising Age (Bulik, 2008), Business Week Online (McKee, 2009), Money (Kendlec, 2009), Wall Street Journal (Saranow, 2009), Inc. (Lacter, 2009), Forbes (Hardy, 2009), Black Enterprise (Donaldson, 2008), U.S. News and World Report (Grant, 2008), and many others, these media rarely discussed anything other than the use of LinkedIn as a business development tool or professional “discussion board.” One online blog, (2009), described a privately-commissioned study that found that human resources professionals locate and/or vet prospective employees via LinkedIn more frequently than they do via Facebook or Twitter, but no other quantitative research information was located. This lack of academically acceptable evaluations of LinkedIn as a job search tool was confirmed by Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, who stated “We don’t have that [research] data” and “academic research is not a priority for us in the current work engagements” (personal communication, December 4, 2009). This study, according to Hoffman, would be the first of its kind, and opened an entirely new area of academic research.

A review of available literature regarding the general use of LinkedIn produced similar findings. There is much expert opinion about the role LinkedIn can/should play in the job search process, as well as quite a bit of “how to” information about using LinkedIn effectively for a variety of purposes. In Internet Your Way to a New Job (2008), for example, author Alison Doyle provides extensive guidance about how to use the internet, including LinkedIn, throughout a job search, but none of her recommendations are supported by quantitative or qualitative data. Similarly, in their recent book 42 rules for 24-hour success on LinkedIn, Muccio, Burns & Murrah (2009) outline an extensive job search program using LinkedIn, but provide no quantitative support for its potential effectiveness.

The same lack of statistical support for the effectiveness of job search techniques other than personal networking also is apparent. Most of the literature on various job search techniques provides expert opinion on the respective effectiveness each technique, and generally supports personal networking as the most effective. On April 30, 2010, , one of the world’s leading online retailers, listed 1,278 currently-available “job search” books (, 2010). Similarly, the Academic Search Premier database (EBSCO host, 2010), searched on the same day, listed 1,478 articles containing the phrase “job search,” of which 78 also contained the word “networking.” Yet a review of sample books and articles found none that based their hypotheses or conclusions on research data.


This research study utilized a web-based, cross-sectional quantitative survey. A link to the survey was delivered via e-mail or through postings on various LinkedIn “Discussion Boards.” The survey instrument asked a series of closed-ended and semi-closed-ended questions about the respondents’ (1) qualifying data (to validate respondent’s status as a recent college graduate); (2) use of various job search techniques, and (3) demographic characteristics (with which the researcher analyzed data across multiple sub-groups). The survey was distributed during the week of April 6, 2010, and response data was pulled for analysis starting on April 28, 2010.

Sampling Technique. The population studied is broadly described as “recent college graduates.” The researcher specifically defines this as individuals who have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from an academic institution in the United States between January 2007 and June 2010. The sampling frame (target population) was those persons in the population who are approachable via e-mail or through a LinkedIn discussion board. Three specific samples were utilized:

1. Research sample #1: This was a systematic sample, “a slight variation of the simple random sampling procedure” whereby the researcher “choose[s] every nth individual in the population” until the desired sample size is reached (Creswell, 2008, p.153). This was a list provided by Estrela Marketing and selected from their national database of approximately 4.5 million high school and college students identified through various web based offers. All individuals on the list had “opted-in” to receive commercial e-mail. For the purpose of this research project, a segment of 5,000 individuals was selected on an nth name basis (a slight variation on a random selection basis) by the list owner from the recent college graduate portion of the list.

2. Research sample #2: This was a convenience sample – a group of individuals selected simply because “they are willing and available to be studied” (Creswell, 2008, p. 155). This sample included members of three alumni “groups” on LinkedIn – alumni from Kenyon College, George Mason University, and the University of Missouri. Links to the survey instrument were posted on each alumni groups’ “Discussion Board” on LinkedIn. By requesting participation from alumni of major universities in Virginia and Missouri, as well as from a small, private college in Ohio, the convenience sample reached a variety of socioeconomic groups. On the date of distribution, these three alumni groups had a total of 12,788 participating members.

3. Research sample #3: This, too, was a convenience sample, using Creswell’s definitions (2008, p. 153). A link to the survey instrument was placed on the LinkedIn Discussion Board of a group named “Entry-Level Jobs and Internships (brought to you by ).” This open-to-the-public group consisted of 3,208 individuals on April 13, 2010; presumably, all/most were college students or recent graduates who were interested in the professional networking opportunities offered by this LinkedIn group.

Survey Instrument

The survey instrument was a web-based survey, a link to which was included in the cover e-mail message sent to individual participants or posted on discussion boards. The cover message (Appendix A) provided the necessary consent notification and was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Missouri – St. Louis. The survey itself contained fifteen questions, as shown in Appendix B.

1. Three general qualification questions (closed-ended or semi-closed ended), designed to confirm that the responder is within the target profile.

2. Six behavioral questions (closed-ended or semi-closed ended), designed to support/answer the research question and hypothesis.

3. Three questions regarding the respondent’s evaluation of LinkedIn. Note: these three questions were not presented (via a logic protocol in the survey’s programming) if the respondent did not indicate on the prior group of behavioral questions that he/she has used LinkedIn.

4. Three demographic questions (closed-ended), for classification purposes only.

It should be noted that the proposed survey instrument asked responders to answer questions about job search techniques other than LinkedIn. This was done to allow the researcher to rank various commonly used job search tools and to determine whether or not LinkedIn is as widely used and as effective as other job search methods.

Data Analysis

On April 29, 2010, response data from the five research segments were selected for analysis. Of the 5,000 e-mail messages distributed by Estrela Marketing, 1,098 were opened by recipients; 99 individuals “clicked” on the link to the survey, and 33 completed the survey. The resulting survey completion rate (0.7%), while lower than hoped, was within industry-standard norms, according to Ken Pollock, Vice President of Estrela. Sixty-one additional surveys were completed by participants from a total of 12,788 members on the targeted LinkedIn discussion boards (0.5%), although no comparable “opening and click-through” information was available. The resulting 94 total responses, while limited in their statistical reliability, were sufficient to permit the development of significant descriptive findings. These descriptive findings are reported here.

Response demographics. According to the data, 56.7% of the responders were “recent college graduates,” as defined by the researcher (graduated between 2007 and the present). While this percentage was lower than anticipated, it coincidentally permitted comparisons between the target group and older persons. Virtually all responders had obtained a post-secondary college degree, with the largest percentages listing bachelors (48%) and masters (41%) as the highest degree received.

67.8% of all responders stated they were “currently employed in a career-related position,” while 17.8% stated they were “unemployed and currently looking for employment” and 10% were full-time students. Among younger responders (i.e. those who received their most current post-secondary degree since 2007), 47.2% stated they were currently employed in a career-related position, 36.1% were unemployed and currently seeking employment, and 11.1% were full-time students.

Responders represented a wide range span, as show in Figure 1, with the greatest percentage (30%) reporting they are 40 years of age or more. As expected, more recent graduates reported they were younger – 47.2% were between 20 and 24 years of age; 25% were between 25 and 29.

47.8% of all responders were women, as seen in Figure 2. Interestingly, the percentage of female responders was significantly higher among younger responders. As expected, the majority of responders (57.8%) reported that they were White/Caucasian, while 8.9% identified themselves as Asian American, 4.4% as Hispanic/Latino, 3.3% as Black/-African American, and 5.6% as “Other.” The remainder either did not answer the question or checked “Prefer not to answer.”

Job Search Tools Used. To validate the effectiveness of LinkedIn as a job search tool, the researcher asked survey participants to identify which of twelve commonly-used tools they had used in their most recent job search. As shown in Figure 3A, among all responders “Personal Contacts” were the most commonly used tool (50% of responders selected this option as one of their choices – multiple selections were permitted). In comparison, fewer than 19% reported using LinkedIn as a job search tool. Among recent graduates (Figure 3B), however, a greater variety of job search tools were used, “Personal Contacts” was not the most frequently reported, and LinkedIn was used by 41.7% of responders. (It should be noted that the majority of responses from Recent Graduates came from discussion boards on LinkedIn, so it is logical that a greater percentage of this group would use this site as a job search tool). The relative distribution of reported job search tools also was consistent with other responder sub-groups, although it was noted that the use of LinkedIn by individuals currently employed in career-related occupations was only 6.6%, significantly lower than in any other sub-group.

Relative Effectiveness of Job Search Tools. Survey participants were asked to identify which job search tools were the most effective by reporting if contacts made through any particular tool(s) resulted in formal job applications, job interviews and job offers. As seen in Figure 4, the same methods most frequently used tended to generate the most effective results, as reported by the participants.

It is interesting to note that the findings also identified distinct questions that remain to be answered. Because total response percentages (all job search tools combined) were greater than 100% (multiple selections were permitted), it appears that multiple job tools were used by responders to obtain individual jobs, interviews, and applications. Further, it was expected that the percentage of responders reporting interviews would be greater than the percentage of responders reporting applications, but this is not the case. The cause of this anomaly could not be determined, although it is possible that some responders secured employment without formal job interviews.

|  |Very Useful |Some-what |Neutral |Not very |Not at all |No opinion |

| | |Useful | |useful |useful | |

|Personal contacts |70.7% |14.7% |10.7% |0.0% |0.0% |4.0% |

|Job Fairs |5.5% |38.4% |28.8% |6.8% |6.8% |13.7% |

|LinkedIn |15.5% |29.6% |18.3% |11.3% |1.4% |23.9% |

|Professional publication ads |19.1% |19.1% |19.1% |7.4% |4.4% |30.9% |

|Facebook |1.4% |11.6% |13.0% |23.2% |20.3% |30.4% |

Usefulness of Job Search Techniques. Using a five-point Likert scale, survey participants were asked to rate the “usefulness” of various job search techniques. As illustrated in Table 1, which represents findings for all responders the highest usefulness rating was, by far, assigned to “Personal Contacts.” “Company Websites” and “Online Job Boards” followed, and LinkedIn received a “Very Useful” rating from only 15.5% of responders. It was noted that other online networking tools – social media sites Facebook and Twitter – were widely viewed as not being particularly helpful.

When these findings controlled so only the responses from recent college graduates, the results were similar (Figure 2), although the ratings for “Personal Contacts” and “LinkedIn” were noticeably lower and the ratings for “Online Job Boards” were significantly higher.

| |Very Useful |Some-what |Neutral |Not very |Not at all |No opinion |

| | |Useful | |useful |useful | |

| Personal contacts |60.0% |16.7% |23.3% |0.0% |0.0% |0.0% |

| Job Fairs |6.9% |24.1% |37.9% |13.8% |3.4% |13.8% |

| Resume mail-outs |3.3% |13.3% |20.0% |20.0% |16.7% |26.7% |

| LinkedIn |10.3% |37.9% |31.0% |6.9% |0.0% |13.8% |

| Professional publication ads |0.0% |25.9% |29.6% |0.0% |7.4% |37.0% |

| Twitter |3.8% |7.7% |15.4% |0.0% |15.4% |57.7% |

| Fraternal meetings |0.0% |8.0% |12.0% |36.0% |16.0% |28.0% |

Use of Online Networking. Thirty-six percent of all survey participants stated that they had used LinkedIn in their most recent job search. Eight percent had used Facebook, three percent had used Twitter, and twelve percent had used other sites (e.g. Craig’s List, industry-specific networking sites). Forty-one percent reported no online networking, social or professional, during their job search. Of those who used online networking in their job searches, LinkedIn obviously was the vehicle of choice for this purpose. It should be noted, however, that many of the survey participants were in the convenience samples of LinkedIn Alumni Groups, so they were highly pre-disposed to participate in LinkedIn.

Usefulness and Effectiveness of LinkedIn as a Job Search Tool. If survey participants indicated they had used LinkedIn as a job search tool, the logic protocol in the survey instrument directed them to three questions specifically about the usefulness and effectiveness of the site. (Participants who had not reported the use of LinkedIn were not given the opportunity to answer these questions). The first of these questions asked these participants to rate the relative usefulness of various LinkedIn features. Table 3 summarizes their responses, with the results from both all responders and from recent graduates only.

|  |Very Useful |Some-what |Neutral |Not very |Not at all |No opinion |

| | |Useful | |useful |useful | |

|All Responders |  |  |  |  |  |  |

| Group Discussions |32.4% |20.6% |20.6% |20.6% |5.9% |0.0% |

| Group Memberships |11.8% |32.4% |26.5% |23.5% |5.9% |0.0% |

| Job Listings |3.1% |43.8% |34.4% |15.6% |3.1% |0.0% |

| Recommendations |18.8% |34.4% |21.9% |21.9% |3.1% |0.0% |

| Search Tools |6.3% |37.5% |31.3% |18.8% |6.3% |0.0% |

|2007-2010 Graduates ONLY |  |  |  |  |  |  |

| Group Discussions |47.1% |17.6% |17.6% |17.6% |0.0% |0.0% |

| Recommendations |13.3% |40.0% |20.0% |26.7% |0.0% |0.0% |

While the two sub-groups had much in common, the high rating of group discussions by the younger group is especially noteworthy. Although no firm conclusions can be drawn, perhaps this is because younger people tend to be more comfortable using social networking; this comfort level may translate to professional online networking as well.

Effectiveness of LinkedIn as a Job Search Tool. The survey vehicle asked self-identified LinkedIn users two questions to determine the direct outcome of their use of this job search tool: (1) Did you secure any in-person job interviews as a direct result of using LinkedIn? and (2) Did you receive a job offer as a result of your use of LinkedIn? The following table (Table 3) shows the responses for three distinct cross-sections of the responses.

| |All Responders |Responders |2007-2010 |

| | |Employed in |Graduates |

| | |Career-Related | |

| | |Positions | |

|Did you secure an in-person interview as a direct | | | |

|result of using LinkedIn?* | | | |

| Yes |6.7% |6.6% |5.6% |

| No |28.9% |16.4% |0% |

| Uncertain |3.3% |4.9% |8.3% |

|Did you receive a job offer as a direct result of | | | |

|using LinkedIn?* | | | |

| Yes |2.2% |1.6% |2.8% |

| No |34.4% |21.3% |36.1% |

| Uncertain |2.2% |3.3% |8.3% |

As is clearly seen, the use of LinkedIn provided few interviews or job offers for survey participants. No more than 6.7% of responders reported having in-person job interviews as a result of their LinkedIn participation, and only about 2.2% received job offers as a result.


LinkedIn is commonly used as part of the job search process, by both recent college graduates and older graduates. 41.7% of the former and 18.9% of the latter report having used it. However, the use of personal contacts (face-to-face networking), online job boards (e.g. Monster, HotJobs, etc.) and company/organization websites are used more frequently.

However, it does not appear that LinkedIn is particularly effective as a job search tool.

67.8% of all responders to the survey were employed in career-related positions when they participated and only about 1.6% received a job offer as a result of their LinkedIn use. While a multi-tool job search process was utilized by most of the participants in this survey, very few employment opportunities (i.e. interviews) were identified nor secured (i.e. job offers) through this vehicle alone.


The findings generated by this research project were limited by several factors. First, the researcher notes that much of the response came from individuals who could not be defined as “recent college graduates” (i.e. having graduated between 2007 and 2010). It is unknown whether or not older individuals made up a larger-than-expected portion of the samples, or if recent graduates were less inclined to participate. In addition, research sample #1 – a systematic sample selected from a commercially-available database of recent college graduates – was relatively small (5,000 records) and generated only 35 total responses. While this rate is within industry-standard parameters, the margin of error for this sample was fairly large (+/- 14%), so replication of the results is doubtful. Further, the questions in the survey vehicle were designed to provide for descriptive evidence, rather than statistical evidence.

Two other challenges to this research project were the facts that (1) it was the first known research into this topic (personal communication, LinkedIn Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Reid Hoffman, November 19, 2009), so no previous data was available for evaluation and comparison, and (2) the sample sizes and response rates were relatively small. Future studies need to be directed to larger samples, designed to provide “scaled” response data, and should seek to use data sources that can be more completed controlled for possible bias-producing criteria.

Despite these concerns, the researcher feels that this study yielded valid data that permitted reasonable descriptive analysis, and provided a starting point for future research. Because online professional networking is a very rapidly changing phenomenon, additional research will be needed to build and maintain the knowledge base to support its validity and effectiveness.


Acar, A. (2008). Antecedents and consequences of online social networking behavior: The case of Facebook. Journal of Website Promotion, (3) (1/2). 62-83. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database. (AN 33933521).

Allen, J. (2009). Instant interviews: 101 ways to get the best job of your life. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

(2010). Corporate web site. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from

Asher, D. (2009). How to get any job: Life launch and re-launch for everyone under 30.

Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.

Barnes, N.G. & Mattson, E. (2008). Social media and college admissions: The first longitudinal study. Retrieved November 15, 2009, from

Bulik, B.S. (2008, 11/10). Finally find out who LinkedIn users are. Advertising Age (79) (42) 12. Retrieved from EBSCO Host Database. (AN 35868347).

(2009). Hiring managers prefer LinkedIn. Retrieved 12/2/09, from

Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (third edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Darling, D. (2003). The networking survival guide: Get the success you want by tapping into the people you know. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Donaldson, S. (2008, December). Staying connected. Black Enterprise (39) (5) 102. Retrieved from EBSCO Host Database. (AN 36293779).

Doyle, A. (2008). Internet your way to a new job: How to really find a job online. Silicon Valley, CA: (self-published)

EBSCO Host (2010). Academic premier search database. Retrieved April 30, 2010 from 4168b337e09c%40sessionmgr110&bquery=(%22job+search%22)&bdata=JmRiPWFwaCZ0eXBlPTEmc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZl

Elmore, B. (2009). Learning in 360o: Social networking strategies. Baylor Business Review. Retrieved November 11, 2009 from: .

Facebook (2009). Corporate web site. Retrieved November 27, 2009, from .

Grant, E.A. (2008, 5/12). Networking yourself to more sales. U.S. News and World Report (144) (13) 55 Retrieved from EBSCO Host Database. (AN 31900475).

Hardy, Q. (2008, 12/8). Networking for profit, not fun. Forbes (182) (12) 85-86. Retrieved from EBSCO Host Database. (AN 35483681).

Kendlec, Dan (2009, October). Mind your Facebook manners. Money, (38) (10). 36. Retrieved from EBSCO Host Database. (AN 44173802).

Lacter, M. (2009, May). Reid Hoffman LinkedIn. Inc. (31) (4) 82-84. Retrieved from EBSCO Host Database. (AN 39253404).

LeBlanc, M. (2009a). Searching out gold. A Recruiters Guide to the Universe (blog). Retrieved November 4, 2009, from:

LeBlanc, M. (2009b). Where job-seekers and recruiters go to network with each other. A Recruiters Guide to the Universe (blog). Retrieved November 4, 2009, from:

(2009). Corporate web site. Retrieved November 30, 2009, from .

Matheson, D. & Finney, M. (2010). Unlock the Hidden Job Market: 6 steps to a successful job search when times are tough. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Mazer, J. P., Murphy, R.E. & Simonds, C.J. (2007). “I’ll see you on ‘Facebook’: The effects of computer-mediated teacher self-disclosure on student motivation, affective learning, and classroom climate.” Communication Education, (56) (1). 1-17. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database. (AN 234186110).

McKee, S. (2009, 9/14). Why your advertising isn’t working. Business Week Online. 12. Retrieved from EBSCO Host Database. (AN 44231438).

Muccio, C. & Burns, D. & Murrah, P. (2009). 42 rules for 24-hour success on LinkedIn. Cupertino, CA: Superstar Press.

Myers, F. (2009). Get the job you want even when no one’s hiring. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Principia College (2009). Resource notebook: Fall 2009 career conference. Elsah, IL: Unpublished.

Reeves, E. (2009). Can I wear my nose ring to the interview? New York, NY: Workman Publishing.

Saranow, J. (2009, 5/14). The care and feeding of network contacts. Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition. (253)(12) D6. Retrieved from EBSCO Host Database. (AN 41425733).

Sturgeon, C.M. & Walker, C. (2009). Faculty on Facebook: Confirm or deny? Proceedings from 14th Annual Instructional Technology Conference. Murfreesboro, TN: Middle Tennessee State University.

Taylor, D. (2008). Does social media really connect you to humanity? Phi Kappa Phi Forum, (88) (4). 18-21. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database. (AN 36314398)

Tylock, S. (2007). The LinkedIn Personal Trainer. Rochester, NY: Tylock and Company.

(2009, March). Joining the social media conversation. , p. 17. Retrieved November 11, 2009, from .

Watson, S.W., Smith, Z., & Driver, J. (2006). Alcohol, sex and illegal activities: An analysis of selected Facebook central photos in fifty states. ERIC online submission, retrieved September 16, 2009, from Educational Resources Information Center database (ED493049).

Appendix A -- Cover Message

Subject: Job Search Techniques – Recent College Graduates

I am conducting a research study on the effectiveness of job search techniques such as LinkedIn® that you might have used when you first graduated from college and I would like to request your assistance. It will only require 2-3 minutes of your time.

  This brief questionnaire is designed to evaluate the extent of use and effectiveness of twelve commonly used job search “tools” used by recent graduates from selected colleges and universities in the United States.  It is part of a graduate school research project that is being conducted under the auspices of the Education Leadership and Policy Studies Division of the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

Following is the link to the survey:

Depending on your computer's capabilities, you may have to copy this URL and paste it into your browser's address line. If you would like to participate in this study, please click on the link above and complete the survey.

Implied Consent Information By completing the survey, you understand and agree to the following:

a) There are no anticipated risks associated with this research.

b) At any time during completion of the survey, you can withdraw your participation and exit the survey. There will be no penalty or sanction if you decide to withdraw your participation in this study.

c) No compensation is offered nor provided for your participation.

d) Personal identifying information is not requested and your identity will not be revealed. In rare instances, a researcher's study must undergo an audit or program evaluation by an oversight agency (such as the Office for Human Research Protection). That agency would be required to maintain the confidentiality of your data. In addition, all data will be stored on a password-protected computer and/or in a locked office.

e) Your data may be shared with other researchers and educators in the form of presentations and/or publications.

f) If you have any questions or concerns regarding this study, or if any problems arise, you may call the Investigator, James Brandt (618-374-5775) or the Faculty Advisor, Dr. Shawn Woodhouse, PhD (314-516-7397). You may also ask questions or state concerns regarding your rights as a research participant to the Office of Research Administration, at 314-516-5897.

Your assistance with this research project would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

James A. Brandt, Graduate Student, University of Missouri - St. Louis

Appendix B –Survey Instrument


Appendix B - Proposed Survey Instrument (continued)


Appendix B - Proposed Survey Instrument (continued)


Appendix B - Proposed Survey Instrument (continued)


Appendix B - Proposed Survey Instrument (continued)


Appendix B - Proposed Survey Instrument (continued)


Appendix B - Proposed Survey Instrument (continued)



Figure 2: Gender of Responders

Figure 1: Reported Age of All Responders

Figure 3A: Job Search Tools Used – Recent Graduates

Figure 3A: Job Search Tools Used – All Responders

Figure 4: Job Search Tools’ Effectiveness

Table 1: ALL RESPONDERS rate the usefulness of each of these job search tools.

Table 2: RECENT GRADUATES rate the usefulness of each of these job search tools.

Table 3: Usefulness of various LinkedIn features by known LinkedIn users.

Table 4: Effectiveness of LinkedIn as a Job Search Tool

* Figures shown are percentages of ALL responders within the sub-group, NOT just known LinkedIn users.


In order to avoid copyright disputes, this page is only a partial summary.

Online Preview   Download