Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Social Networks and Their Importance in Job Searching of College Students

Academic journal article Business: Theory and Practice

Social Networks and Their Importance in Job Searching of College Students

Article excerpt

Introduction

Road, public, and communication networks have been a part of development and basic elements of human civilisation within living memory. At the present time the Internet plays an essential role in everyday life and it has serious impact on social interaction among people. Social networks are mostly used for fast changing and sharing of various types of information among people and that is why they develop enormously. Popularity and significance of utilization of social networks have not reached the top yet. We can see the potential of social networks mainly in the area of formation and utilization of personal presentation of their users and consequent possibility of looking for an attractive job. Mainly American companies use social networks very often as one of the best quality sources for hiring appropriate candidates for free career positions. Opportunity for utilization of social networks to gain full job market value in Slovakia with their own offer and demand is closely connected with the purpose and frequency of using these sites by the Slovaks. The aim of the paper is to present current state of utilization and the effect of social networks on job search of selected test sample of Slovak university students.

1. Importance of social networks

The origin of the theory of social networks can be dated back to the early 1930s within three different scientific branches--psychology, anthropology and mathematics. In this early age the first work made a big contribution; his so-called "sociograms" aimed at graphical plotting of relationship between individuals by means of lines connecting points. Due to them it was possible to identify leaders, separate members, interaction and reciprocity within friendships in specific groups (Mayer 2012). Another author revised the concept significantly. Barnes focused on community relations which went beyond limits of traditional groups (family, society, etc.) whereby new research method--analysis of social networks was developed gradually (Cook, Whitmeyer 1992). Authors like Ronald Burt, Mark Granovetter, Stanley Milgram, Steven Strogatz or Ducan Watts are regarded as classical theorists of social networks. At the time of their living the term of social networks was understood to be one of two approaches how to perceive social structure. In general this concept is more abstract (Ioanides, Loury 2004). We can differentiate two basic structure concepts. In the more common of them the structure is explained as a scheme of particular relations between persons involved. In the other one the structure is perceived as universal, maybe multidimensional accidentally variance (Cook, Whitmeyer 1992). The difference is in perception of relations and their origin.

Definition of social network varies from the point of view of different authors. It is possible to define it as an interconnected group of people who affect each other. According to James Clyde Mitchel social network is understood as a "specific relation in defined group of people. The nature of relations in social networks can be used for interpretation of these relations" (Clyde 1969). Social network is a web service allowing an individual to create public or semi-public profile within limited system interconnected with other users who they share content with, and it allows them to look through and list the connections with other users within this system (Boyd 2008). One of the possible approaches to social networks is as follows--"Social network is a structure composed of a set of persons involved, some members are interconnected by a set of one or more relations" (Knoke, Yang 2008). The Dictionary of Sociology defines social network as a "set of social subjects interconnected with nominal relations. Subjects are nodal points of network; relations are presented by points that are aligned" (Jandourek 2007).

Social networking websites are virtual communities which allow people to connect and interact with each other on a particular subject or to just "hang out" together online (Murray, Waller 2007). …

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