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New Start-Up Jibe Marries Facebook, LinkedIn to Help Your Job Search

The old boy network meets the social network.

Jibe

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It’s a nightmare scenario: You apply for your dream job–but then your potential employer somehow snags a look at your Facebook profile, and those pictures of you doing body shots in Cancun suddenly turn out not to have been such a good idea. Last week, a New York-based startup called Jibe launched; it aims to take that nightmare–and make it a dream come true.

It works like this: Jibe is that it leverages your social networks–Facebook, but also the more buttoned-up LinkedIn–to help you land a job. Central to averting the nightmare scenario above is a feature that lets you carefully choose just what info you’re willing to share with employers (so just mark that “Spring Break 2010, Baby!” album private).

Jibe CEO Joe Essenfeld gave the rundown on Jibe at the New York Tech Meetup last Wednesday; Jibe.com, launched the same night. Sign up, and it mines your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles for job-related information. Once your profile is filled out, you can apply for jobs directly through Jibe. If you are applying for a job at a particular company–the site launched with listings from Amazon, MTV, and Conde Nast, among others–and you know people there, you can let the company know who you’re connected to, and you can even request references from those people through the site.

Jibe uses a credits system; job-seekers get three credits per week to apply for jobs, to avoid a “spray and pray” approach, Essenfeld said. Users can also buy additional credits. This appeared to irk someone during the NYTM question-and-answer session who asked why it was appropriate to take money from job applicants in a recession, but Essenfeld replied that most of the revenue comes from employers, who pay $15 to unlock applicants’ profiles (the most-unlocked profiles will appear on a leaderboard).

Basically, Jibe takes an old under-the-table job-getting principle–it’s not what you know, it’s who you know–and makes it not only explicit, but digitized and downright user-friendly! With Jibe, the old boy network meets the social network.

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About the author

David Zax is a contributing writer for Fast Company. His writing has appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian, Slate, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal

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