By Natasha Baker
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook, the social networking site, is probably not the first place that comes to mind when contemplating new career opportunities.
But Monster.com, the career search website, hopes to change that with BeKnown, a professional networking app that allows users to build their professional identities within Facebook.
"People are spending so much of their time on Facebook and at the same time companies are trying to find creative and productive tools to connect with potential talent," said Tom Chevalier, global product manager for Monster Worldwide.
With BeKnown jobs are displayed based on a user's work experience and network connections. When the app identifies a potential job the user can state their interest, which is relayed to the employer using information from the profile.
Within the app users can earn badges, or visual emblems, based on their work experiences, accomplishments and strengths from the site or from colleagues to serve as aids for recruiters to highlight their accomplishments.
"You can have your connections giving you a skill endorsement, which is really a stamp of approval," said Chevalier.
Launched in June, the app has been updated to introduce college pages for users to network with past alumni and to find jobs that have been posted by them.
"Users want to congregate around the affinity they have for their schools, and they want to form relationships amongst students and alumni," said Chevalier.
When a job is posted in BeKnown it is automatically posted on the page of the college that the job poster attended.
"Users will see that job opportunity, know what year the poster graduated, and can start to have a conversation with those people in a professional way," he said.
Chevalier said that it's important that BeKnown maintain an explicit divide between a user's social and professional lives by keeping the two networks entirely separate.
"That's really important, both for users' expectations of social networking versus what they might want to do as professionals, but also to establish boundaries that people can feel comfortable with," he explained.
The updated app also lists jobs directly on a company's Facebook pages. Similar apps for Facebook include BranchOut, which was released last year.
BeKnown has been configured to work with iPhone and Android.