Many managers look at your online presence when receiving your resume and cover letter. They review your social media profiles to see what pictures you have posted and what you have written. So think twice before posting something. Is it something that you would want a prospective employer to see? If you have already posted something that was not appropriate, then remove it before you start your job search. This also includes any complaints about employers or previous bosses. Also, in this technologically advanced world, you want to have some online presence. The reason for this is because employers will think you are not keeping up with what is current. This could be essential to the job qualifications they seek. A great way to give yourself an advantage over other job applicants is to have a blog associated with your expertise. This will demonstrate you have initiative and expertise in your line of work. Another idea is to be active on LinkedIn. Join and participate in groups, post information every few days, share links to interesting articles, etc.

“Social media is a primary vehicle of communication today, and because much of that communication is public, it’s no surprise some recruiters and hiring managers are tuning in,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.

Another thing prospective employers might look at is, what you like on Facebook. This can negatively impact your candidacy for a job. There is technology out there some employers use to determine personality and character traits that are derived purely off of what pages and posts you like. So be cautious as to what you have in your social media profiles.

If you want to know what employers are looking at, just Google your name to see what they see. Then you can decide what needs to be removed to reflect a more professional impression online. Two areas you should always refrain from talking about is politics and religion. Not everyone has the same beliefs and it may strike a chord with a hiring manager if you post something they don’t agree with.

Social media can be used to search and find a job, but the steps above need to be taken to ensure your search is not futile. Use these social media platforms to highlight your skills and expertise that will demonstrate why an employer should hire you among all the other candidates out there. This is a great way to interact with hiring managers. So it is important to note you should interact on these social media platforms. Don’t just create the profiles and then leave them stagnant.