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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Social Media During a Job Search

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Executive Summary Social media is quickly becoming a key element in the modern day job search. The rise of social media and living in a connected world means more opportunities for job seekers, and utilizing your social presence online can indeed land you that dream job. There are many advantages of using social media for a job search. However, there are also potential disadvantages of using social media, and caution must be exercised to avoid losing employment opportunities. It is vital for job seekers to understand how recruiters and hiring managers are using social media platforms in all stages of the employee selection process. You should be careful about what you post, because it is a direct reflection of the image you are portraying to potential employers. However, you can also use social media to your advantage by creating and maintaining a consistently professional image.

Introduction Social media is quickly becoming a key element in the modern day job search. Employers use sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to find out much more about prospective employees than the information provided in their resumes. Social media has gained popularity over the years and since 2012 it has become the top online activity for many teens as well as other age groups. In fact, in 2013 there were over 1.15 billion registered users for Facebook alone (Jones, 2013) and that number is growing at an exponential rate.
Figure 1 2013 Social Media Monthly Active Users

Search Engine Journal. (2013). [Graph illustration The Growth of Social Media November 15, 2013]. The Growth of Social Media: The Social Media Obsession. Adapted from http://www.searchenginejournal.com/growth-social-media-2-0-infographic/77055/

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