By Daniel Hunter

Nearly half (45%) of job hunters said past Twitter activity should never be taken into account by prospective employers, according to a recent survey from Hays, the leading recruiting expert.

However, 55% agreed that employers should look at a potential employee's Twitter account when considering them for a role. Of the group who deemed it to be acceptable, 42% said the decision was dependent on an employees' occupation. Under a fifth (13%) said tweets should never be taken into account by prospective employers.

"The growing use of social media is increasingly blurring the line between people's personal and professional lives," Steve Orr, Director at Hays commented.

"While no employer should make a hiring decision based entirely on what they see online, it's now extremely easy to find out an incredible level of personal detail about potential employees with just a quick search. Our survey shows that 45% of job hunters are leaving themselves at risk as they don't believe that employers should look at past tweets.

"People should use social media responsibly and apply the appropriate privacy settings to avoid distracting an employer from anything other than the task at hand of assessing their suitability for the job. Our guide can help people to understand how their social media presence can affect their career and give them top tips about how to be social media smart."

Top five tips to be social media smart:

- Consider creating separate personal and professional accounts
- Think carefully about what you share and where, if it's something you wouldn't want a new employer to see, don't post it
- Look the part: choose a recent and professional profile photograph
- Keep up to date: add contacts and accomplishments regularly
- Check privacy settings regularly so you know what's going public in your name

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