In the past two years, millions of less-than-secure professionals have taken to LinkedIn to expand their networks, join professional groups and beef up their resumes. Meanwhile, the LinkedIn app has been one of the fastest-growing Facebook apps as well, signaling an increasingly blurry line between professional and personal lives. Professional services company Appirio even created a viral recruiting referring engine to be used within Facebook.
All in all, this has meant much more transparency for job searchers and networkers, allowing them to see not only who you are, but in many cases, who you know and what you care about.
The new Brazen Careerist social networking site has taken this concept much further. It’s essentially an online resume site created for Generation Y that attempts to mash up elements of LinkedIn, Twitter, the Blogosphere and Facebook. Users signing up for the service will have the option of inviting employers into their entire world, from their traditional online resume to blog postings, professional groups and miscellaneous social media chatter. The site features an “Ideas” section that is designed to give employers an idea of the candidate’s potential and personality.
“Live Openly” is not the site’s tag line, but it probably should be. Although the site has plenty of controls for identity protection, the idea is clearly not to exercise too much control over them.
This launch should be interesting to marketers principally because of who is behind it. The site’s founder is celebrity blogger and Brazen Careerist CEO Penelope Trunk, whose online career skyrocketed overnight in 2008-2009 as she bared the details of her riveting personal life almost interchangeably with no-nonsense career advice. Her column appears in hundreds of online and offline publications. After successfully marketing herself and selling her blog, she has transformed the site into a network of more than 1000 bloggers while continuing to disclose everyday details of her personal life.
The new site’s success seems to be betting on the fact that many Gen Y job searchers crave something that allows employers greater insight into their lives than LinkedIn currently provides. At this point, Gen Yers appear to make some attempts – however unsuccessfully – to keep their online professional and personal lives somewhat separate. If this venture is successful, it will tell marketers mountains about the level of privacy that Gen Y is comfortable with.