Research Proposal, 5 Sources — Cassie Hoffman

Proposal: For my research topic, I want to investigate how the use of Facebook can reduce a candidate’s ability to attain a job. Many people are aware of the dangers their Facebook profiles possess when they apply for jobs — employers often use an analysis of a prospective employee’s Facebook page as a tool in their decision making process for hiring someone. Likewise, companies can use information posted on their employees’ Facebook pages to terminate them due to a lack of professionalism. However, as much as Facebook can make it difficult acquiring or keeping a job when companies probe their employees’ personal lives, new research shows that Facebook has actually become an important tool for job hunting and job advertising. It also is one of the quickest growing businesses, constantly opening new warehouses for production and expansion, and in turn creating thousands of jobs, with its headcount of employees increasing by an average of 50% per year. I want to determine through research of different source materials whether Facebook’s positive contributions to the job market outweigh the negative impacts it has on the process of finding a job outside of the Facebook world. 


  • 1. The Facebook Economy
    Background:This article discusses the current financial status of the Facebook corporation, and explains what we can expect to happen as far as growth within the company when their $5 billion IPO goes through this spring.
    How I Intend to Use It: This article will be useful for the facts and statistics incorporated into it. It gives data regarding the current size of the company, as well as the number of jobs they will be expected to create within the next few years. It also gives more detail about the types of employees they are generally looking to hire.
  • 2. Can Facebook Train Better Workers?
    Background: This article gives insight to the ways in which Facebook has been able to actually increase employee productivity rather than decrease it. It explains how employees who are more adapted to working with social networking sites end up being better workers because they are more capable of expanding the technological aspect of the company they work for, whether through  networking or advertising.
    How I Intend to Use It: This article will help measure the benefits of Facebook in the workplace, giving details from studies that were done to discover what type of skills students and employees possessed that made them more capable to function in the academic or professional setting that they worked in.
  • 3. Paterson School Teacher Under Fire for Racist Comment on Facebook
    Background: This article shows the dangers of having a Facebook page when working in a professional environment, such as that of a school. A teacher in Paterson awaits a verdict from the state education commissioner, who will decide whether or not to adopt a judge’s recommendation, after presiding over her case, that she be terminated.
    How I Intend to Use It: This article will provide my paper with a somewhat anecdotal example to demonstrate to readers the repercussions that can take place at work when someone behaves a certain way via social networking sites like Facebook.
  • 4. Online
    Background: This article gives more in depth information about the ways in which companies use the task of perusing Facebook profiles as a pre-requisite for hiring someone and how college students who are beginning to enter their professional lives feel about the situation.
    How I Intend to Use It: As part of an argument concerning the concept of companies previewing prospective employers, I want to analyze this article to determine whether or not it is morally right for companies to employ this practice.
  • 5. More Grads Use Social Media to Job Hunt
    Background: This article gives a lot of statistical data regarding the ways that college students are using social media sites like Facebook to find jobs after they graduate.
    How I Intend to Use It: I want to use the statistics that are given in this article to examine how beneficial Facebook really is in aiding graduates find jobs. I want to compare this data to that of the amount of jobs that are lost or not offered because of a company viewing an employee or prospective employee’s Facebook page if I can find that type of data.
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3 Responses to Research Proposal, 5 Sources — Cassie Hoffman

  1. choffman17 says:

    Professor Hodges,

    I’m still not really sure if this topic is too broad. Can you give me an opinion on whether or not it is narrow enough, or how I can narrow it down farther if it isn’t?

    Thanks 🙂

  2. davidbdale says:

    Cassie, before I judge your topic’s narrowness, may I recommend extra care in phrasing? Your good work will benefit from crisp language. “The ways in which Facebook impacts job opportunities” could mean enhances a candidate’s chances or costs a candidate a job. If you’re pretty sure it seldom helps and most often hurts, you shouldn’t be coy. “I will research how a candidate’s Facebook page can cost her a job.” The benefit here isn’t brevity—there’s no big savings—but clarity.

    Eliminate “when it comes to” as often as possible too, as well as “in terms of.” Repetitions such as “employed by a company, that company” can be avoided. Also needless “if . . . then” constructions.

    Job-seekers know employers examine candidates’ Facebook pages when making a hiring decision. After hiring, they can use information posted by employees to terminate them for “lack of professionalism.”


    How is Facebook “a demon . . . in the process of acquiring” a job, Cassie? Is Facebook in any way responsible for what prospective employees have posted or how prospective employers judge those prospects? Of course I understand what you mean, but you cost yourself credibility when shrapnel wounds unintended targets.

    It’s an interesting formula you’re working on here, Cassie. Does it make sense? Does the employer hire no one when it rejects a candidate for bad Facebook judgment? Or does it just offer the same job to a candidate with a cleaner public image?

    What would REALLY make an interesting paper would be an examination of Facebook’s own hiring practices. Does Facebook management scour the facebooks of its own job candidates for reasons to approve or reject them? Do they use the same judgment criteria? If there’s any way to get to that data, I’d love to see it!

    In short, your topic seems narrow enough, Cassie. Its actual target is a bit fuzzy. Employers must view FB as a godsend in eliminating questionable candidates (whether their judgment in this regard is appropriate, wise, fair or not).

    1. Yes, FB is huge and a big employer.
    2. Yes, social media can be very good for business.
    3. Of course, they can also broadcast to the world what in an earlier day would have been more private and less permanent comments employees wish they could take back.
    4. And those comments can haunt both employees and prospects.
    5. They’re also helpful in any commercial search for information.

    So far, these could all be helpful. You haven’t yet found quite the perfect specific case to investigate that will focus your attention clearly on a controversial question, but you’re getting there. Keep digging.

    Helpful at all, Cassie? Let me know.

  3. davidbdale says:

    Here’s an idea I hope you jump on right away, Cassie! Apply for a job at Facebook! There’s no substitute for first-hand research. As a candidate, you might have a right to see Facebook’s hiring practices. You could have a conversation with someone in Personnel about what they consider important in a candidate’s background. You might get really lucky and have a chance to ask someone whether you should be concerned about your own facebook as a prospective employee. There’s time to do this, Cassie. Please give it a try.

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