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Since the boom of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, employers and recruiters have actively used social media to screen potential candidates during their hiring process.

According to Forbes, nearly 90 percent of companies plan to use social networks to find job candidates.

Facebook is free. Twitter is free. LinkedIn is free.

Why pay for a background check that only gives limited criminal background when you can see what a candidate has done every day—for free?

More than just your application and resume, social network profiles are in need of more and more tweaking to meet the approval of others.

There seems to be no limit to the ways employers and recruiters can gain information on potential hires.

Reppler, a social media monitoring service, conducted a survey of 300 random individuals involved in the hiring process for different companies.   Ninety-one percent of the total polled said they use social media to determine candidacy.

Worried about what they are seeing? You should be.

Sixty-nine percent of employers have rejected applicants based on what they’ve seen on their social network page. The biggest reason: lying about a qualification.

The Atlantic calls angry posts and risque photos “digital dirt.” What a great metaphor. Everything that is posted online, whether it be a photo of a family pet or that night out with your friend Jose Cuervo, is forever embedded in the crevices of the Internet. It might be time to do some cleaning up.

Despite the horrific numbers mentioned before, don’t be too alarmed. Sixty-eight percent of candidates screened have actually been hired mainly due to positive impressions of their personalities and organizational fit. Other qualities looked upon positively were professionalism and creativity.

So, before Facebook enforces their timeline layout, you have the opportunity to do some digital housecleaning. Delete those photos of drunken escapades and remove the “I hate my job” posts.

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