Since its launch, BranchOut, a professional networking platform on Facebook, has been growing steadily. Before BranchOut, many job seekers were reluctant to use Facebook as a job search tool because of all the personal information that could be displayed. That has all changed now as BranchOut leverages the power of the Facebook network, but the BranchOut profile only shows work history, education, and positive endorsements to business contacts. On BranchOut, users can connect professionally without becoming Facebook friends, so they can keep their personal information private. It allows users to search by location, position and company.
For this post, I decided to interview my colleague and Facebook guru, Barb Safani of CareerSolvers (www.careersolvers.com). If you missed my earlier interview with Barb on Facebook in December, feel free to read it here.
Randi: Who Uses BranchOut?
Barbara: BranchOut is the largest professional network on Facebook, with millions of users in more than 60 countries. They have users that are Fortune 500 CEOs, and entry-level employees. BranchOut empowers Facebook users to network with those whom they have the most authentic relationships – their friends – and search for hundreds of thousands of jobs through the world’s largest social network.
Randi: Can you explain how it works?
Barbara: You have two options to add BranchOut to your Facebook profile. Either visit branchout.com, or after logging into your Facebook account, search for the BranchOut app and select the app that appears. Once you have the app (Randi: Under apps on the left hand side), click “Grow Network” and you’ll find a number of options to select from, including email, wall posts, and a few additional communication channels on Facebook.
Your Facebook friends who are existing BranchOut users will automatically be added to your BranchOut network. If you’re Facebook friends, but they’re not already BranchOut users, you can invite them to BranchOut using wall posts and the request channel on Facebook.
When reviewing the more than three million job postings or 20,000 internships, you’ll see all of your inside connections – your Facebook friends, who you’re connected to through BranchOut, and their friends. This alerts you to your vast network of insider connections, who you just happen to have the most authentic relationships, so that you can network with them to ensure your resume is at the top of the pile or make an introduction to a hiring manager.
Randi: Can you upload a resume?
Barbara: Through BranchOut, you can upload your resume, or create one from scratch, ask for or give endorsements, share updates with your BranchOut network and browse jobs.
Randi: How does BranchOut differ from LinkedIn?
Barbara: BranchOut allows you to tap into the enormous networking potential of 850M+ Facebook users. LinkedIn cannot integrate information from Facebook in this way and with significantly fewer users (135M), a job seeker may be missing out on an important networking opportunity by only using LinkedIn for their online networking needs.
Randi: How can I learn more?
Barbara: You can visit http://branchout.com/about/productTour