Stanford startup watch: Identified

Nov. 5, 2010, 12:15 a.m.

If you’ve applied for a job in the past year or two you probably have a LinkedIn profile. Let me venture a guess and say that you created it the night before your interview and it shows. I’m also going to go ahead and assume that you probably haven’t been back since the day you listed your shiny new summer internship on there. How close am I?

Identified bills itself as “the Common App for jobs,” according to Director of Campus Outreach Stuart Rogers. To me it sounds like LinkedIn – on steroids – for the Facebook generation. Instead of encouraging you to create a separate social network around your professional life, the new service uses Facebook Connect to leverage your existing network – minus all of those pictures that you don’t want your new boss to see. Using Facebook Connect means that you have to allow Identified to have access to a lot of information about you, but if that doesn’t bother you it also means that you automatically have a huge network the moment you first join the site.

The site is focused around three main parts: companies, discussions and connections. You can easily browse the companies that recruit on the site. These range from the usual suspects – tech giants, consulting firms, finance gigs, et al – to smaller companies and non-profits. Once you’ve found the company you want to apply for all you have to do is click the big orange button. And while companies can’t contact you directly unless you apply, the site can notify you if you match the profile that certain companies are looking for in terms of major, GPA and previous experience.

The discussions tab is pretty cool, it allows you contact companies directly to ask questions regarding their hiring process.

The real value of the site, however, is under the connections tab. By default your connections include your Facebook friends. These are called “first degree” connections. They also include your friends’ friends. These are your “second degree” connections. It’s all very “six degrees of separation” but this extended network, combined with the employment information from Facebook or Identified profiles, can be incredibly powerful. When you look up a company you can automatically see what connections you might have to it. Then you can go ask your neighbor to introduce you to their friend who interned for Cisco this summer.

Identified was started about a year ago by Adeyemi Ajao M.B.A. ’10 and Brendan Wallace M.B.A. ’10 during their last year at the Graduate School of Business. The company opened the site to the public in September and currently has over 800 companies listed, over 300 of which they say are actively recruiting on the site.

If you are looking for a job or if you just want to take a look around you can check out Identified here.

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