Online professional networking platforms are widely used and may help workers to search for and obtain jobs. We run the first randomized evaluation of training work seekers to join and use one of the largest platforms, LinkedIn. Training increases the end-of-program employment rate by 10 percent (7 percentage points), and this effect persists for at least 12 months.
The available employment, platform use, and job search data suggest that employment effects are explained by work seekers using the platform to acquire information about prospective employers and perhaps by work seekers accessing referrals and conveying information to prospective employers on the platform.
Wheeler, Laurel, Robert Garlick, Eric Johnson, Patrick Shaw, and Marissa Gargano. 2022. "LinkedIn(to) Job Opportunities: Experimental Evidence from Job Readiness Training." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 14 (2): 101-25.DOI: 10.1257/app.20200025