new_twitter_logoIf you’re scanning your Twitter and Facebook profiles right now to see if anything is potentially harmful, you’re making the right move.

That’s because a new survey conducted by CareerBuilder discovered 51 percent of employers who have researched job candidates actually found content that caused them to not hire the candidate. This is up from last year’s findings of 43 percent and from 2012′s results of 34 percent.

We should point out 12 percent of employers in the survey don’t research candidates on social media but they plan to start doing it. This includes Googling candidates, too.

So, what’s exactly questionable when they search profiles? The most common findings included provocative or inappropriate photographs or information. Then of course, there’s information a job candidate posted about drinking or using drugs, negative talk about a former company or colleague, discriminatory comments and oh yes, poor communication skills.

In other instances, especially when LinkedIn profiles come into play, hiring managers found lies about qualifications.

We would be remiss if we didn’t point out ways employers actually found positive aspects to potential employees and their profiles. Approximately one-third of employers in the survey found content that made them more likely to hire someone. They ended up getting a good feel for the job seeker’s personality and could see a fit with the company culture. In other instances, they discovered the candidate’s background was in sync with their qualifications for the job, their site was professional and showed the candidate was well-rounded with a variety of interests.

Especially for media folks, employers really admired strong communication skills and creativity, not to mention awards and accolades.