Research Output
The role of networking and social media tools during job search: an information behaviour perspective
  This research reported in this thesis explores job search networking amongst 16-24 year olds living in Scotland, and the role of social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) during this process. Networking is treated as an information behaviour; reflecting this, the study is underpinned by a prominent model from the domain of information science. A sequential, mixed methods approach was applied to gather data. This included the use of interviews, focus groups, and a survey questionnaire. The interviews incorporated ego-centric network methods to develop a relational perspective of job search networking.
The findings show that young people accrue different types of information from network contacts which can be useful for all job search tasks. Indeed, frequent networking offline and on social media is associated with positive job search outcomes. This is especially true of engaging with family members and acquaintances, and frequent use of Facebook for job search purposes. However, demographic and other contextual factors have a substantial impact on the nature of networking behaviours, and the extent to which they can influence outcomes. Additionally, young jobseekers face a range of barriers to networking, do not always utilise their networks thoroughly, and are more likely to use social media platforms as supplementary tools for job search.
A key contribution of this work is that it provides a detailed insight into the process of networking that has been neglected in previous studies. Its focus on social media also reveals a new dimension to the concept which has received little attention in the job search literature. Given its focus on young jobseekers living in Scotland, the findings have also been used to create a detailed list of recommendations for practitioners.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 November 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    ZA4050 Electronic information resources

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    621.3821 Communications networks

  • Funders:

    Skills Development Scotland; Economic and Social Research Council


Mowbray, J. A. The role of networking and social media tools during job search: an information behaviour perspective. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Facebook, twitter, linkedln, networking, information behaviour, information science

Monthly Views:

Available Documents