In 2009, Careerbuilder reported that 45% of companies are using social networks as background checks. Dan Schawbel predicts that 75% of companies for 2010 and then 100% of companies in 2012 will use SM in background checks. Just like a drug test, going online to review an applicants brand is easy, cost effective and can save headaches later. There are issues that arise such as possibly losing good talent because of one Facebook picture or judging someone based on their picture and not on their credibility.

What this means for your personal brand: Everyone is going to have to be very careful with what they put online. Go through your online presence right now to make sure it best represents you as a professional. Try and see your profiles through a companies eyes too.