CAE Reading and Use of English Part 5
You are going to read an article in which a young journalist talks about using social media to find a job. For questions 31-36 choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
Using Social Networking Sites to Find a Job
Having secured her own first job recently, Patty Meissner looks at young people’s use of social networking when looking for work.
In many countries, a growing number of people in their twenties are turning to social media in the hope of finding work. Services like the social networking site Twitter and the professional networking site Linkedln offer the chance for more direct contact with would-be employers than has previously been the case. But with greater access comes a greater chance to make mistakes.
Take the case of a young jobseeker in the US who contacted a senior marketing executive via Linkedln. The marketing executive in question had an impressive list of influential people in her contact list; people whom the young jobseeker felt could help him land a job. The marketing executive, however, had other ideas. Indignant at the suggestion that she would willingly share a list of contacts painstakingly built up over many years with a complete stranger who’d done nothing to deserve such an opportunity, she not only rejected his contact request, but sent a vicious and heavily sarcastic rejection note that has since gone viral. Those who saw the note online were appalled, and the sender probably now regrets the tone of her note, if not the message it conveyed. But if the incident makes young people think more carefully about how they use social media in a professional capacity, she may have actually ended up doing them a favour. She has drawn attention to an unfortunate truth. Social media is a potentially dangerous tool for job hunters who don’t know how to use it. And a worrying number are getting it wrong.
There’s a horrible irony here, because in many countries social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have been the bread and butter of twenty-somethings’ social lives for years. When my generation were teenagers, social media was our escape from the prying eyes of parents and teachers. It was a cyber extension of the playground pecking order – a place to impress, to embellish and experiment. It was a world based largely on fantasy. You could find yourself in a three-hour conversation with someone online and then completely ignore them at school. With careful picture/song selection for your Facebook page, you could become a completely different and much more intriguing person overnight. And if you couldn’t be bothered with conversation, ‘poking’ people on Facebook was a legitimate alternative.
However, when it comes to using social media for professional networking, our very knowledge and experience of sites like Facebook may actually be a hindrance. Using social media in a professional capacity is a completely different ball game, but for some twenty-somethings, the division is not clear cut. We first earned our online presence by being bold and over-confident, which could explain why some of us still come across like this. Just because a lot of people ‘liked’ your posts on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use Linkedln to show potential employers that you’re someone worth employing. We need to realise that what we learned about social networking as teenagers no longer applies, and we must live up to employers’ standards if we want to get on in the world of work.
One of the most common complaints from employers regarding young jobseekers on professional networking sites is that they’re over-familiar in their form of address, and appear arrogant. This serves to perpetuate older generations’ perceptions of us as an ‘entitled generation’. In fact, we’re very far from this; in many countries we’re increasingly desperate about finding employment, which is why many of us are turning to social media in the first place. This impression of arrogance hurts the employment prospects of young people who – despite their communication errors – actually possess the skills and drive to become a valuable part of the workforce.
So what’s the right way to contact someone on a professional networking site? Firstly, explain clearly who you are, and let the person you’re writing to know what’s in it for them – maybe you could offer to do a piece of research for them, or assist in some other way. This approach gives you a much better chance of getting a useful reply. Refrain from sending impersonal, blanket emails, and keep the tone humble if you want to avoid leaving a sour taste in the recipient’s mouth. Remember – social media can be a great way to make useful contacts, but it needs careful handling if you don’t want the door slammed in your face.
31 How did the senior marketing executive feel about the jobseeker who contacted her?
annoyed by the timing of his message
regretful that she had to reject his request
furious at his assumption of her cooperation
surprised that he offered her nothing in return
32 What does the writer say about the senior marketing executive?
Her note was an attempt to gain publicity.
Her attitude is not unusual on social networking sites.
She has unintentionally helped those looking for work.
Someone of her experience should treat jobseekers better.
33 What point does the writer make about social networking sites as used by her own
They gave teenagers the impression that real conversation wasn’t necessary.
Teenagers used them to avoid having to engage with people they didn’t like.
They gave teenagers the chance to escape from their boring lives.
The personalities and relationships teenagers had on them didn’t reflect reality.
34 As regards professional networking, the writer believes that many people of her generation
have exaggerated opinions of their own employability.
over-estimate the use of social media in the world of work.
fail to distinguish between social networking for pleasure and for work.
are unaware of the opportunities that professional networking sites can offer them.
35 In the fifth paragraph, the writer says that young jobseekers feel
certain that they are entitled to good jobs.
concerned that they may not be offered work.
certain that they have the ability to be useful as employees.
concerned that they are giving the wrong impression to employers.
36 What does the writer advise jobseekers to do?
tell prospective employers what they may gain in return
research the recipient carefully before they make contact
give careful consideration to the type of work they are seeking
approach only people they have a real chance of hearing back from