Research from a global security software company discovered that more than 90 per cent of human resources professionals search for unprotected social media profiles in order to assess a candidate's suitability.
What employers find online has huge implications on a job seeker's chance of even getting an interview, BusinessNewsDaily reported.
The study was based on surveys of 230 human resources professionals in the US and UK, and 4,400 job seekers between the ages of 18 and 25.
Researchers found that job candidates who display inebriated photos on their social media profiles reduce their chances of securing an interview by 84 per cent, while 90 per cent of human resources managers considered nude photos a reason to not set up an interview.
Other actions seen on social media that can cost job candidate an employment opportunity include evidence of obnoxious behaviour, negative or derogatory comments about a previous employer or extremist views about topics such as race.
Overall, nearly 50 per cent of the hiring managers surveyed have turned down a job applicant because of their online profile.
Tony Anscombe, the ambassador of free products for AVG Technologies, said the Internet, and social networks in particular, have changed the way that human resources professionals approach the recruitment process.
"Nowadays, online content posted about, or by a candidate, has become the modern-day equivalent of a first interview," Anscombe said.
It's not just Facebook that hiring managers are searching to find out about prospective candidates.
The research shows other sites they turn to include Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr.