Chances are you already know how difficult it is to find any job in this economy, let alone your dream job. Last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 12.7 million unemployed Americans, and there aren’t any quick fixes in sight.
With millions of others looking for the same jobs, you don’t have time to scroll through hundreds of listings every day — you need to be able to optimize your search. Luckily there’s a new website that has found a way to utilize your online social circles to lead you to gainful employment:Jackalope Jobs.
Jackalope Jobs focuses on job seekers like you, helping you gain an edge on the competition by sorting through your social networks and pinpointing valuable connections. The way the site works is simple: You log in with LinkedIn, Facebook or Plaxo, and Jackalope Jobs imports all of your contacts, credentials and connections.
From the dashboard, you can search for a job and also search through your connections. You’re able to type in a job title or any keywords relevant to your search, and Jackalope Jobs will pull together listings from job boards, social media and other places in accordance with its “Jackalope Ranking” (best match according to your network and qualifications). You can also manually sort the job listings in any way you see fit — that is, by number of relevant connections, etc.
By clicking on any one job listing, you can see who among your connections could put you in touch with that particular company, and how exactly they are affiliated. You’re even able to reach out to those connections directly through the Jackalope Jobs interface, instead of needing to log on to the social network separately. Then, of course, you’re able to click through to the original listing for more information on how to apply.
There are numerous job search sites out there that promise to help, so what makes Jackalope Jobs worth your time? A big factor is the site’s strong dedication to job seekers. “Our mission is to help one million people find a job by the year 2015,” Sudy Bharadwaj, founder and CEO of Jackalope Jobs, tells Mashable.
Bharadwaj decided to create the site after he realized just how many people are looking for jobs — a combination of the unemployed, underemployed and currently employed but seeking something else. “They are very underserved, since most sites focus on advertisers, employers and recruiters. Therefore, we see a huge need and a huge market,” he says.
Bharadwaj says that a company or recruiter typically wants five great candidates to end up solely with their company or client. But for the job-seekers, he wants Jackalope Jobs to help each one to find five great jobs through any company, job board or social network.
Most job sites are constrained to a certain number of jobs that they can present to the job seeker, by virtue of their revenue models. According to Bharadwaj, even the biggest job sites show only approximately 5% of available openings. The Jackalope Jobs team believes that job seekers need greater access to openings, but doing so requires more intelligent searching, which the site provides through semantic search technology.
“With the proliferation of job boards and the acceptance of social networks, we also realize the timing is great to take advantage of these technologies,” Bharadwaj says. “What’s exciting is that we are leveraging leading-edge technologies to solve a very important problem.”
Jackalope Jobs depends in part on how your connections maintain their social profiles. LinkedIn users usually have detailed work history, while some Facebook users want to keep their personal lives separate and do not include their work information. Bharadwaj says the team plans to merge LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networks as the site develops. “[This way] we can find connections via personal relationships or business relationships that can help with a job seeker’s search,” Bharadwaj says. “Both personal and professional connections can help.”
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Jackalope Jobs was in private beta for 10 months before officially launching last month. In that short time, the site has accumulated around 2,000 registered users, and it continues to grow.
Some of the site’s users have already shared their success stories in various industries, including a former Marine landing a construction job, and a tech company manager finding another position at a different tech company. Bharadwaj also mentioned a pharmaceutical sales representative who applauded the search infrastructure after finding a job that did not appear to be relevant at first glance.
Several developers used Jackalope Jobs by reversing the search to reconnect with former associates, finding jobs in the process. Bharadwaj says, “The feedback was interesting: ‘I really don’t care about the openings, but you gave me value by showing me which connections I should really re-engage with.’”
Jobs and the economy are hot topics right now, whether they’re being discussed in the media, in presidential debates or at your own dinner table. Jackalope Jobs hopes to redirect that conversation. “Our approach is to provide as many opportunities for success as possible,” Bharadwaj says. “More connections and more jobs.”
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Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!