It might be time to put those boozy Facebook photos away…

Don’t be fooled into thinking your Facebook photos of that night you got so drunk you flashed your bra to the entire club won’t make their way to your potential employer’s prying eyes. It’s estimated about 90 per cent will Google your name. Really.

Obviously that can either make or break your chance of getting an interview. So it’s really important to know exactly what they’re looking for online.

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Google yourself

To avoid embarrassing pitfalls (read: your future boss finding a pic of you shotting tequila off the cute bartender’s chest), it’s a good idea to Google your name and see what pops up prior to submitting that job application form.

If you discover anything less than impressive in your search results, simply add or remove a middle initial to distinguish yourself differently on your application. Ensure the change enables recruiters to find the real you. This is what recruiters will see when they search for your LinkedIn profile.

Get linked in

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, and are serious about job hunting, it’s time to bite the bullet. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking through a few of the LinkedIn profiles of people who already work in your dream job, to get a feel for the sorts of keywords and attributes you should look to include.

Additionally, ensure the headshot you attach to your profile is a professional one, not that one of you out with the girls where you look super hot (your employer isn’t interested in your selfie game).

Recruiters also typically look at what, if any, groups you’re a part of and how you communicate with others in these groups, so take the time to select some communities within your respective industry you can follow on LinkedIn, and contribute meaningful comments to group discussions where possible to display your initiative and passion.

All of your online information will give your recruiter a better indication of who you are than any resume can, which is why it’s fast becoming an accepted part of the hiring process.

Be vigilant

Job hunters also need to be aware that some recruiters are very thorough with online searches. In addition to your LinkedIn profile, they’ll want to see what type of person you are in general. So if that scares the pants right off you, it’s time to review what you’ve got floating around in cyberspace!

On the other hand, if there’s nothing – not one trace of you online – that can be a red flag that you’ve got something to hide, which means simply deleting yourself from the web won’t cut it.

As social media is such a prominent business tool, a lot of employers want evidence you can hold your own, so investing time into tidying up and building your social presence can ultimately give you an edge over the competitors who’ve neglected to do the same.

Social media can be your best tool or worst opponent when job hunting. Make it work for you, instead of against you, and you can’t go wrong.

Image via cnn.com