LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Social media have proliferated in recent years and their use by individuals—including potential employees—is beyond commonplace. Facebook has more than 150 million users in the United States. As of February 2010, Twitter reported that its users were issuing 50 million tweets per day.

Employers are taking notice. A 2009 study by CareerBuilder concluded that 45 percent of employers used social media to screen applicants. Should employers incorporate social-media research as part of their hiring process? ...

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