The role of networking and social media tools during job search: an information behaviour perspective

Mowbray, J., Hall, H., Raeside, R., Robertson, P. (2017). The role of networking and social media tools during job search: an information behaviour perspective. Information Research, , (), .



NB This article is the version of the conference paper of the same title delivered at CoLIS 9, Uppsala, Sweden, June 27-29 2016 accepted for publication in Information Research.

Introduction. The paper presents a critical analysis of the extant literature pertaining to the networking behaviours of young jobseekers, in both offline and online environments. A framework derived from information behaviour theory is proposed as a basis for conducting further research in this area.

Method. Relevant material for the review was sourced from key research domains, such as library and information science, job search research, and organisational research.

Analysis. Three key research themes emerged from the analysis of the literature: (1) social networks, and the use of informal channels of information during job search, (2) the role of networking behaviours in job search, and (3) the adoption of social media tools. Wilson’s general model of information behaviour was also identified as a suitable framework to conduct further research.

Results. Social networks have a crucial informational utility during the job search process. However, the processes whereby young jobseekers engage in networking behaviours, both offline and online, remain largely unexplored.

Conclusion. Identification and analysis of the key research themes reveal opportunities to acquire further knowledge regarding the networking behaviours of young jobseekers. Wilson’s model can be used as a framework to provide a holistic understanding of the networking process, from an information behaviour perspective.
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Hazel Hall
Director of CSI
+44 131 455 2760
Robert Raeside
Professor (Affiliate to IIDI)
+44 131 455 4308
John Mowbray
Research Student
+44 131 455

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