It’s where relationships die and drama is spewed. High schoolers use it to cyber bully. It also functions as an ad platform where you can be targeted as a consumer based on minutiae of personal details you give away in your profile. It’s not the place you want your resume or job hunting efforts anywhere near.

Facebook Branch Out Career Networking on Facebook green logo I first heard about Facebook Branch Out on my friend Melody’s Facebook wall. Her friend Rachel had invited Melody to Branch Out. My split second valence reaction: Gross.

Caveat: I am a LinkedIn purist.

Odd: I typically encourage competition (heralding Google +1 for simply existing)

Reasoning: Branch Out challenging LinkedIn is like community college Division 3 athletics taking on the 1990s Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls. Here’s the Wall conversation:

Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan high five on the court Chicago Bulls 1997

These are professionals.

Rachel: Its a professional networking site (so like LinkedIn), only its on the FB interface, which obviously reaches more people – that, of course, is its advantage. It is just getting off the ground so I haven’t played around with it that much, but feel like it is likely to replace LinkedIn in this area for the reason mentioned above (also because I think it will have better functionality bc the FB ppl are better at social media..). Hope all is well!

Melody: Em’s a social media person–thoughts @Emily Binder? My hesitation is that I’m not sure I like the idea of mixing fbook with business. I guess I’m at the cusp of needing to make all my sm profiles 100% work proof. Deleted my personal twitter yesterday after a social etiquette seminar….

Emily Binder: Where to begin… Facebook is not LinkedIn and never will be. (By the way, I’m not a guru.) Unless your personal brand is a page, not a profile, you are not on Facebook to represent yourself to the business world. If this is the main reason you’re on social networks, then just hang out on LinkedIn. LinkedIn reaches 100 million+ members with targeted interests. Sure, Facebook reaches more, but for professional networking and exposure, you don’t want to reach the majority of them, trust me.

The big three social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) are three for a reason: Each is different in uses, users, purposes, and presentation. How many articles and horror stories have we heard about employers running background checks on job applicants using Facebook? Remember the Massachusettes teacher who got fired in 2010 for a Facebook post complaining about the snobby parents? Did you know that  the U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently granted permission to Social Intelligence Corporation to file all user Facebook posts for job applicant screening.

Facebook for jobs is only one step above Craigslist. I’d wonder why the Brancher doesn’t use LinkedIn- can’t they hack it? There isn’t enough control over your own Facebook presence (just read the incredibly long privacy policy) to be a place that can accomplish two purposes. Its actual purpose is to provide an informal social platform to share thoughts, pictures, news, events, opinions, and, when you feel like it, utter time-wasting garbage.

Professional networking and the domain where resumes, bosses, and colleagues live does not belong on the social network where pictures of you doing keg stands in college could be unearthed.

Melody: Valid points, Em. Rachel, you do SM, right? Rebuttal?

Rachel: No I don’t care that much to be honest.


You’ll notice that the Branch Out advocate above didn’t really understand it, didn’t care to comment on it, and is thus probably the type of person willing to throw their information to the next trendy network. Social media has imbued us with the value of quantity over quality; and that omnipresence is good.