Doostang.com, a pay-to-apply job network based in Palo Alto, Calif., reportedly received $1.2 million in capital funding from Shasta Ventures as part of an expected $2.1 million round of equity.

Since its launch in 2005, Doostang has raised about $5.25 million in venture capital, according to the company.

Doostang, which used to be an invitation-only network that targeted grads at top U.S. colleges, is modeled somewhat after a traditional dating site: Registration is free and gets you a peek at about 11,000 active job listings — minus company details. To apply for a job, you have to pay: A two-day premium trial, for $5.95, allows you to apply to up to 20 jobs within the trial period. Monthly memberships begin at $29.95 and are discounted for longer term lengths.

The site also allows you to network with friends and colleagues who have joined — and if you allow it, will scrape your e-mail contacts and send network invitations. The site’s community guidelines instruct members to not apply for jobs for which they are not qualified, and to invite “qualified friends. … By bringing in more top talent, you expand your networking opportunities and help the community attract more exclusive jobs.”

The network boasts about 600,000 members, called “elite job candidates” in company marketing. Site metrics indicate that nearly half the candidate pool is in finance and investment industries. Members can post public profiles and mark resumes private, which aren’t seen unless applying.

Employers can post jobs for free and source candidates from professional networks. Ostensibly, the reason recruiters would list here is not for the free postings but for “elite” candidate pool. Whether the job postings are “exclusive” is doubtful — recruiters don’t work that way.

Given the number of members and the number of listings, the current ratio of candidates to available jobs is 54:1, which is low enough for recruiters to give it a try.

The site is the brainchild of CEO Chuck Taylor, who was formerly in charge of bizdev at Affinity Circles, a platform for private, professional networks. Prior, he was director of product marketing for Yahoo, where he had P&L resposibility for HotJobs.

As for the company’s unusual name, it reportedly takes its roots in Farsi: “doost,” which means “friend,” and “tang,” a word loosely translated to mean trust between friends.