By Daniel Hunter

What job seekers post on their social networking profiles can be both a blessing and a curse for their chances of finding employment, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder.co.uk.

The study of more than 400 UK employers found that 52% of employers have researched job candidates on social media, and a further 10% plan to start.

And it’s not just the professional networking sites that employers are examining. Sixty-two percent check Facebook and 45% look at a candidate’s Twitter feed, compared to 44% using the professional networking site LinkedIn and 22% on Google+. Image sharing sites aren’t exempt from scrutiny either. Nearly one in ten (9%) refer to Instagram, and 8% to Pinterest.

Employers are using search engines too: 49% of employers use search engines to research potential job candidates, and 11% plan to start.

Of those who have researched candidates on social media, 42% have found content that caused them to not hire the candidate and 18% have found content that made them think twice about hiring the candidate.

On the other hand, 45 per cent of employers who research candidates on social networking sites say they’ve found content that led them to hire a candidate.

“CVs only tell part of the story, so employers are increasingly relying on social media and Internet search engines to supplement their knowledge of a candidate,” said Scott Helmes, managing director of CareerBuilder UK.

“For these reasons, job seekers need to be more aware than ever about what they say — and what’s being said about them — online.”