An invitation to join Doostang — an online network for college students and young professionals

If you’re looking for a professional network to join online, check out Doostang.com, a site that’s similar to LinkedIn.com, but focused on a younger market.

I recently joined Doostang and spoke with the site’s business development manager, Chelsea Burkett, who gave me some insight into the network and how it can help college students and young professionals looking for internships and jobs. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Doostang is designed for college freshmen all the way through MBA students (the founder originally launched the site to tap into his B-school network).
  • Doostang can help young professionals access internships and jobs from some of the best companies around. You can post your resume, sign up for industry groups and network professionally. The opportunities on the site are high-quality and highly targeted to the young professional community.
  • Chelsea started as an intern at Doostang and now is a full-time employee. So it works!

How can you make the most of the network? Chelsea advises, “Rather than just setting up an account and searching jobs/people, we encourage our members to fill out their profiles, post their resumes, etc. We’ve got lots of recruiters on Doostang proactively searching for candidates in addition to posting jobs. Members who’ve had the most success finding jobs and internships tend to be those that engage the website/community the most.”

I recently joined Doostang and have expanded my network through the site’s community. Interested in joining? You’ll need an invitation, and Doostang has graciously extended an invitation to my readers (thank you, Chelsea!). E-mail Chelsea at [email protected], and she’ll be happy to send you an invitation and help familiarize you with the site.

If you join Doostang, feel free to friend me!

Comments

  1. Andrea says

    Doostang is unlikely to garner the traction of LinkedIn because of its coercive tactics in acquiring new members. Most of the jobs posted on the site cannot be viewed without being a member of particular industry group. You can’t become a member of many of these groups without recruiting 20 new members, after which you can apply to for group membership (you can be denied after recruiting your 20 members). Why should I work so hard for access to job postings, when other like sites grant me that access for free?

  2. Lindsey Pollak says

    Thanks for the post, Andrea.

    I’m going to ask Chelsea at Doostang to reply so I can learn more about the site’s policies and practices.

    Lindsey

  3. Chelsea says

    Hi Andrea,

    Thanks so much for your comment. Just wanted to clarify a few things about the groups you’re referring to, which are known as “Selected Practice Groups” on Doostang. The idea behind these groups is to provide a very targeted channel for certain recruiters on Doostang to post positions. These recruiters typically won’t post their openings online anywhere because they get too many unqualified resumes back. Members of Selected Practice Groups are pre-screened by a panel of recruiters to gain membership to the groups, thus eliminating that extra step and enabling recruiters to target a small group of highly qualified candidates on Doostang if they so choose. Yes, you can be denied to these groups after introducing 20 members, but I’ll stress that we take great care to make sure people are treated as fairly as possible, and are constantly scrutinizing our dispute and feedback mechanisms to make sure things work as well – if not much better – than they do in the real world.

    It is true that, in addition to demonstrating a relevant background, we ask that Doostang members interested in joining Selected Practice Groups introduce 20 new members to the website. The reason behind this is pretty simple – in order to continue doing what we’re doing and attract the amazing companies we do – we need to grow. We’ve adopted this system to help foster growth and actually prefer it to – for instance – charging our members. It’s worked very well, and we find that people often don’t mind telling their friends about a place to find jobs and internships since everyone needs them at one point or another, and that their friends more often than not find it very useful and appreciate the invitation. Of course, as things progress we’d love to see that 20 member figure diminish, if not disappear altogether ;).

    Finally, I’ll add that well over 80% of our jobs and internships are viewable to the entire community – Selected Practice Groups account for just a small part of what’s going on on Doostang. So, no matter what, there should plenty to search and apply for in the event that Selected Practice Groups aren’t for you…

    I hope this was helpful to you, and to all of Lindsey’s readers. Please feel free to e-mail me ([email protected]) with any further questions.

    Thanks, and thank you Lindsey!

    Chelsea

  4. Andrea says

    I suppose I should note that I focus on entertainment industry and new media oriented jobs. Maybe that area is more elitist than others.

  5. Anonymous says

    what’s going on with this site. Suddenly it will not allow me to sign on. I invited over 400 people to join this site and now everyone is getting an expired invite. Very frustrating and not very professional either.

  6. Lindsey Pollak says

    I’ve forwarded your comment to my contact at Doostang – I’m sure she will reply and address your concerns.

    Thanks,
    Lindsey

  7. Chelsea says

    Hi Lindsey,

    Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. Just wanted to let you know that all is well at Doostang. We’re not currently aware of any problems with members getting onto the site. The only other circumstances under which a member would not be able to log on would be if they had violated our Terms of Service agreement. We are very dedicated to our members privacy and periodically have to take action when that’s put in jeopardy.

    Either way – and because I can’t address any specific case publicly – anyone with questions should feel free to contact me – chelsea AT doostang DOT com.

    Thanks again!

    Chelsea

  8. Anonymous says

    As far as my experience with Doostang it has been horrible. I received the invitation and created the profile. I sent a few invitations and then I logged out. I could not reenter the site and all the invitations were badinactive. I tried to email CS and sent and email to Chelsea as well. No responses…

  9. Lindsey Pollak says

    @Anonymous – Thanks for the post. I am really disillusioned with Doostang – I have heard lots of negative comments ever since I wrote this post. Sounds like LinkedIn is the way to go in the professional online networking space. I will not be recommending Doostang any longer, that’s for sure.

  10. raul says

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>