Job candidates realize that presenting themselves in the most favorable light on application materials and in interviews increases their odds of landing a position. To get a better idea of whether what you see is really what you’re going to get, employers traditionally have relied on talking to references and performing background checks. Increasingly, they also are turning to social media.

According to recent CareerBuilder research, 57 percent of small business employers use social networking sites to research potential job candidates. Of those, 45 percent have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire a candidate. When asked about specific content that turned them off, employers cited the following:

Provocative or inappropriate photographs. Information about candidate drinking or using drugs. Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee. Poor communication skills. Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.

On the other hand, 28 percent said they…

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