Posted February 18, 2009 5:25 pm by with 6 comments

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By David Lindop

It’s pretty rough out there in the job market at the moment. Budgets are getting tighter as credit is harder to secure, and many companies are weathering the storm by locking down recruitment and laying off staff. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why the professional networking site LinkedIn has seen its U.S. unique visits shoot up by an impressive 22% over the past month according the all-knowing comScore.

6.3 million unique visits in December 2008 rocketed to 7.7 million in January 2009—driving up the average time on site by over 100%.

Let that sink in for a minute—Americans spent double the amount of time revising their resumes and networking with professional contacts than the previous month!

In any other situation most marketers would claim this was an analytics blip, but not with the current financial climate. Renewed vigor from the new year, and the ever looming threat of redundancy, has meant professionals are prettifying their profiles for that ‘just in case’ scenario.

Recommendations, LinkedIn’s electronic form of professional character references, were up 65% according to an official LinkedIn spokesperson. Metrics aside, this means that people are hitting up their previous work colleagues for references in the rush to make themselves more sell-able on the job market.

So it’s not doom and gloom for all industries apparently, and it won’t do LinkedIn’s advertising revenue any harm to boast about their surge in visitors either. Erick Schonfeld put it best when he first reported the story on TechCrunch—”when times are tough, networking is a survival skill.”

David Lindop is a professional search specialist working on SEO, linkbait & social media marketing at Setfire Media.