Watch Out LinkedIn, BranchOut May Be Coming
Now that so may of us are used to the social network expanding advantages of Facebook and the career network expanding advantages of LinkedIn, it would seem inevitable for a company to cross the two. BranchOut, a young San Francisco-based company, provides a free application that enables Facebook users (which seems to include nearly everyone by now), to create professional profiles in order to do career networking through their Facebook relationships.
When you install the BranchOut app, you can see where your friends are working, search companies to see if you have friends there, and search BranchOut’s job postings. If you post a resume, BranchOut will deliver suitable job postings to you. BranchOut also enables you to post jobs to the BranchOut network, which—while not a match for LinkedIn’s 130,000,000+ registered members—is not insignificant: 25 million registered members and growing.
BranchOut’s big advantage, of course, is access to everyone on Facebook. It is currently the largest job board on Facebook, with over three million job postings. And there seems to be no limit to how much it can grow, given Facebook’s future.
So is BranchOut likely to swamp LinkedIn? It would seem not. LinkedIn has a big head start and a loyal following. But that doesn’t mean BranchOut can’t have a bright future, existing alongside LinkedIn. The venture capitalists seem to think so, having invested $49 million in BranchOut to date.
Our advice is not to ignore BranchOut for your own career or—if you’re a hiring manager—for hiring. It’s here; it’s happening; what have you got to lose?