A third of employers check social media profiles when recruiting new graduates, according to a report on the graduate labour market.
The report by Graduate Careers Australia on job prospects for the latest crop of university leavers reveals that 36.5 per cent of employers used potential recruits' social media profiles as another source of selection information.
Of employers who checked social media, 43.8 per cent said it gave them insight into an applicant's "personality, character and cultural fit".
GCA executive director Noel Edge said graduates could improve their career prospects if they presented an "appropriate image" on their social media profiles.
"Today's employers are looking for graduate candidates who convey professionalism both in person and online," he said.
Employers quoted in the report said social media profiles revealed much about an individual's personality and character as well as their interests and social influences.
They said it showed how graduates presented themselves online and whether they "networked" with others in their intended profession or area of expertise.
One employer said obvious mistakes on social media would show low self-awareness.
"Conscientiousness is paramount in a technology-driven environment where your social media profile is our advertisement," the employer said.
"It provides us with an insight into their social responsibilities, awareness and professionalism," said another.
The report found almost one in five employers - 19.3 per cent - did not recruit any graduates last year, up from 12.5 per cent in 2012. Most blamed poor economic conditions and budget constraints.
"These new findings suggest that the recruiters of graduates remain cautious in their hiring plans," Dr Edge said. But he said the outlook for graduates remained bright, even if they did not land a job as soon as they finished their studies.