Identified.com Seeks to Make Professional Networking More Fun

Want a gold star for putting your resume online? We’ve got one for you. Identified.com rewards professional networking with points, making your job search almost as numbers-driven as the college application process.

Much like LinkedIn, Identified uses your existing contacts, educational background, and career history to expand your network and let you see what career opportunities might be out there for someone with your skill set. The main differences are that this site connects to Facebook, it has a scoring system, and that 90 percent of Identified’s 4 million users are under the age of 35.

While recruiters could just go to Facebook to look for candidates directly, VentureBeat uncovered this interesting statistic:

Recruiters say that 92 percent of Facebook profiles do not contain enough publicly available education and employment information (major, graduation year, job title) for recruiters to qualify potential candidates for jobs.

Anyone who has ever brought a printed resume into a job interview only to have to transfer all the same information to a job application form can understand why this happens. That, and the fact that some people would rather keep their personal and professional profiles separate online.

To create a profile, just provide your Facebook credentials. Identified only extracts details that are publicly available, so if your work information is hidden on Facebook, you’ll need to fill in your degree(s), place(s) of employment, and job title(s) yourself.  For every detail you post, you’ll get additional points.

The colleges and companies are ranked, but not by the same U.S. News or Fortune 500 rankings that are used elsewhere.  Instead, the scores are based on the average Identified scores of the other professionals who belong to those organizations.

In other words, part of the game is getting other people to join the site. The next step is to invite your contacts from Facebook, Gmail, and other networks to join you. The more connections you have, the higher your score will be.

Once your profile is complete, you can compare your final score with those of other the people in your network. Identified will also show you which companies have hired people who went to your school or had your job title or major. NASA, for example, just hired someone with a music degree, proving that self-discovery doesn’t end in college.

Because the scores are based entirely on site participation, they don’t say much about your real-world credentials, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. No one wants to be punished forever for having worked at a startup instead of a Fortune 500 company any more than they want to be punished for a lower SAT score or grade point average than their peers.

For that kind of ranking system to work, the site would have to understand the various milestones for a lot of different career paths and also provide separate rankings for distinguished programs within each of the schools.

In the end, what will make the profiles valuable is that the point system helps ensure that everyone fills out their profiles completely. Recruiters will find a rich pool of candidates to browse through on the site, while job seekers will have a deeper understanding of how they can use their networks to find new opportunities. And older job seekers who work in tech-based industries might want to cash in on a system that will rank them higher for their experience and connections.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Identified is the brainchild of Brendan Wallace and Adeyemi  Ajao, who came up with the idea while at Stanford University in 2010.  The company has raised a total of $5.5 million from a number of investors, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Check out this infographic for an interesting look at how “gamification” has transformed everything from conserving energy to dating before it made its way to professional networking.

Image by valdis torms via Shutterstock.

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