You’re on the job hunt and the first piece of advice is to clean up your social media accounts, right? In some cases, you may even decide to completely block them from public view.

Clean Up Your Act

So you log onto Facebook to change your privacy settings and delete questionable postings.  You may start deleting your political rants off Twitter, or bikini pics off Instagram.

Those of us with multiple social media accounts know the drill, but surprisingly, the number of employers passing on candidates, because of their public personas on social media– continues to rise, according to

The job site surveyed more than 5,000 hiring managers, human resources professionals, and workers in conjunction with Harris to find 51%, or just over half of employers who research job candidates on social media, say they’ve found content that led them to not hire the candidate.

That’s up from 43% last year, and 34 percent in 2012.

Google Is Not Your Friend

When it comes to job hunting, after you clean up your act on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the countless others, don’t forget to do a simple Google search on yourself.

The survey also found 45% of potential employers use search engines to dig up dirt on candidates—including reading your Yelp reviews, or comments on  So be mindful of your colorful language on review sites, as well.

As if your social media accounts aren’t enough to keep track of and clean up—also be mindful of your friends’ accounts, and what they’re posting on your wall, or which of their posts you’re clicking the ‘like’ button on.

“It’s important for job seekers to remember that much of what they post to the Internet – and in some cases what others post about them – can be found by potential employers, and that can affect their chances of getting hired down the road,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.

The Top 5 Most Common Social Media Offenses By Job-Seekers:

  1. provocative or inappropriate photographs or information
  2. information about them drinking or using drugs
  3. bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee
  4. poor communication skills or grammar
  5. discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion etc.

Other social media “don’ts” worth mentioning:

  • Lying about your qualifications or job history
  • Shared confidential information from previous employers online
  • Mention of your criminal behavior
  • Screen name or username was unprofessional

The Good News

There is a silver lining in having your public persona on the Internet. One-third of employers said their online research actually made them more likely to hire a candidate.

In these cases, hiring managers said they were able to get a feel for the candidate’s personality, or their social media reflected a well-rounded individual with good communication skills. A large number of Twitter followers could also show you have expertise in a certain field that others find useful.