As we all know, this world of awesome technology lets us connect with people in so many different ways–and it’s wonderful. But this also means we are a lot more exposed in everything we do online. Sometimes we forget that our online footprint is like a walking job application. Recruiters are constantly checking on prospective employees’ online personas. It can hurt us or leverage us on to a whole new level. So how do we use social media to our advantage? Jean Dobey, Founder of micro-social networking platform Hibe has compiled 7 tips for evolving personal social media presences:

1. Google yourself

Entering your name into a search engine can be an eye-opening experience. The information found on Google may only be a snapshot of what you’re actually like, but it could be all a recruiter needs to cross you off their list. Portraying yourself in the best light is a must, particular as, according to a CareerBuilder survey, 48% of hiring managers use Google or other search engines to research candidates.

2. Brush up on privacy settings

Take the time to get to know the ins and outs of the privacy settings for each of your social profiles. Understanding who can see what is a vital part of controlling your social media presence, but you should stay up to date with revisions to privacy policies. These settings can change frequently and are by no means infallible, so it’s important to exercise good judgment when posting on social media.

3. Stay active

A good profile is an active profile. By engaging on social media you can connect with industry peers and demonstrate your level of expertise. Posting regularly and contributing to relevant discussions can help you gain credibility and visibility and will go a long way to impressing potential employers.

4. Make the right connections

There’s no better way to be in the know than by connecting with the right industry players. Social media is an excellent way of networking and staying abreast of developments in your area of expertise. Start by following the profiles of the companies where you’d like to work. It’s important to also join LinkedIn Groups related to your industry. In addition to being an excellent way of collecting quality contacts, they can help you find openings as companies may share job opportunities in relevant groups.

5. Check the quality of your content

It may seem obvious, but ensuring the quality of the content you share is of the utmost importance. The 2013 Social Recruiting Survey by Jobvite found that 93% of recruiters review candidates’ social profiles in the hiring process, while 42% have reconsidered an applicant based on content from such profiles.

6. Experiment with new platforms

While it’s important to maintain active profiles on traditional social media platforms – such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – it also pays to embrace new networks. This can help a job seeker increase their professional network and expose their content and expertise to a larger audience. Your willingness to join new social networks can also send recruiters some positive signals. It shows that you’re a fast learner, that you adapt to change easily and are constantly looking to improve professionally.

7. Create, Share, Promote

Enriching your presence on social media with content related to your area of expertise can help to attract the attention of recruiters. Creating and sharing insightful, relevant information through your social media profiles will showcase your know-how and increase your credibility. Promoting your work in LinkedIn Groups and through online communities will also clearly demonstrate your competence to potential future employers.

Whether you’re showcasing your content or just getting your name out there, it’s important to make it easy for recruiters to find you online. Creating a personal website or using sites such as about.me can allow you to link all your social media profiles and improve your search engine rankings.

With more and more recruiters placing a greater emphasis on social recruiting, candidates must take these necessary steps to ensure they don’t sell themselves short on social media.