In the present age of social media, it’s not uncommon for a potential employer to review your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles before making a hire. But asking for your login information? While not a pervasive trend just yet, more employers are asking for social media login information to dig deeper into a candidate’s background and personal life. The state of Maryland has taken a stance on the topic by banning employers from asking for this information, but for the rest of the country, this is still a valid and legal request. As professional executive recruiters, we want to ensure that our candidates land the job they want. To help, we’re offering these three tips in the event that you ever encounter the Facebook dilemma.

Keep it clean. With your Facebook username and password, anybody can read the private messages you send to friends, even the photos you thought were hidden. As a general rule of thumb, don’t put anything on Facebook – even if it is “private” – that could cost you a job. This is the best way to protect yourself.

Use other communication. Along the lines of “keeping it clean,” if you are going to have a personal conversation through the Internet, don’t do it on Facebook. If you have any personal messages around in your Facebook inbox, delete them.

Consider the value of your privacy. While we want you to land your “dream job,” it shouldn’t have to be at the expense of your privacy. If you decide that a company insisting on obtaining your Facebook information crosses the line, you can always look elsewhere.

Ultimately, your social media presence can either help or harm your candidacy at any company. By keeping your profile clean of any detailed personal information both now and in the future, you can be sure that there are no “skeletons in the closet” to be discovered.