It is no secret that companies use the Internet to search for new recruits and to review submitted resumes. Today an increasing number of employers research candidates’ social media presences and in some instances use this criteria as a factor in the hiring process. So, what should the aspiring professional do?

According to Joann Pan there are a few key points that graduates and aspiring professionals should be aware of and commit to in order to have the best chance to land their dream job. She suggests first you should Google your name to see what comes up. This will also be the first thing your prospective employer will do as well. You can control how you look when someone Googles you, and here are a few tips you can use right now:

* If you have accounts that you’ve let languish, you should either update them or deactivate them. This will eliminate any unwanted attention to long forgotten
embarrassing pictures or content. In fact, you should just go ahead and clean up all of your
profiles so that they are professional.

* Next, it is imperative to establish your unique voice and generate that message effectively across
all your mediums. Your voice should exemplify who you are and what you believe so potential
employers will be able to gauge you as a person and see what drives you.

* Grammar. Grammar. Grammar. Check your profiles for errors and perfect your spelling and grammar!

Businesses use SEO or search engine optimization to increase visibility. You can do this too. Use relevant keywords and define who you are by establishing your presence on a variety of social channels. Own your name says Heather Huhman; establish your name on as many mediums as possible. She also suggests a great way to create a branded presence is to have an active blog.

Building your personal brand takes a little work but it’s worth it and really essential today so you can compete with your peers. Get started, have fun, and remember: Professionalism is key.