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Maybe it’s a rant you blogged in the heat of the moment after a rough day with clients.

Or it could be that picture you tweeted in which you had a cocktail in each hand and a reference to drinking too much (in 148 characters or less, of course).

Possibly it’s posting a controversial comment about a hot button political topic on Facebook.

Whatever “it” is, it’s a reflection of you in the social media space – and it could be what keeps you from getting your next job.

Per this article and a recent report, 1 in 5 companies has cut an applicant because of something they’ve said, shown or shared on one of their social networks. We’ve heard a lot about HR folks considering social media when looking at applicants, but this is the first real proof that they are indeed omitting people because of what they post.

Now, I know your social media relationships and conversations are a reflection of who you are and what you’re all about. But in the day and age we live in, you must be aware and realistic that there are consequences to what you post.

Sure, tweeting something controversial about your industry could get you noticed by someone who agrees with you and wants to hire you. But chances are more likely potential employers will see that kind of behavior as a suggestion that you’re a loose cannon.

Social media is powerful. It’s a great tool for networking and advancing your career. And, of course, we can’t forget that it’s fun!

Just don’t forget that your Facebook friends aren’t the only ones watching…