This is a guest post by hiring manager Tim Eyre.
You put a lot of thought into your resume. What serious job applicant wouldn’t? All the information you want potential employers to see about you is in there – your job qualifications, your experience, your education, your skills, your interests, your references. It’s all there – tied up in one neat package. But your resume is more than just a collection of dates, places, and facts. It is the self-portrait that you put on display for the world to see. It is the face you show to people who have never met you before. It is you.
But did you ever stop and think about the possibility that those people who have never met you before may already know you very well? Employers are becoming more thorough and more savvy in their hiring practices all the time. They are now able to rely on a lot more than just your resume to find out about you. They have free and easy access to the world’s largest collection of data – the Internet.
Are you online? You probably are, whether you know it or not. Do you have a professional profile? A Facebook account? Have you ever posted online? Have you participated in discussion forums? Do you tweet? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then guess what? You are already known. Your resume is just one of many self-portraits that employers see. In reality, there are many others. How well do you know what they are seeing?
Nothing raises a red flag more quickly than inconsistencies between an applicant’s resume and other information about him/her that can be found online. Here are three tips to help you insure that you look the same to your future employers both on and offline.
Look at your reflection in the online mirror. If you want to see what your online self looks like, do what hiring managers do. Conduct a Google search on your own name. Then look very carefully at every piece of information that turns up. Make sure it is 100 percent consistent with what is in your resume. Also make sure it is flattering. I know of hiring managers who have eliminated job candidates from consideration after looking at their Facebook profile photos. And this was before even looking at their resumes or qualifications! One job seeker I interviewed was under consideration for an opening I had—until I Googled his name and came across a public forum where he mercilessly trashed his job, his supervisor, and even his co-workers.
If you have issues like these, don’t think you can solve your problem by running and hiding. Disappearing from the Internet isn’t the answer. Recruiters expect you to have an online presence. If they don’t see one then they may dismiss you completely and move on to the next candidate. Stay online but make sure your online profiles are both flattering and consistent with your real self.
Always be truthful. Nothing hurts a job candidate’s chances more than an untruth – or even a half-truth. If your resume says (or implies) one thing and your Facebook profile says something else, employers are going to conclude that there a lie in there somewhere. And they aren’t going to bother to look into it (or into you) any further. One resume I ran across stated that the person had a degree from MIT. But when I looked at his Facebook profile, I found out he really attended CCNY.
Personal brand consistency is essential. This is especially true to a job hunter. By running a few self-checks, you can make sure that your online self and your online self are one and the same. If you exercise a little care, you will be rewarded with a lot of consistency. In his role in the self storage industry, Tim Eyre helps customers care for their cherished belongings that must be put in storage. Tim regularly visits his facilities including a Boston self storage center. He also was recently meeting customers and staff at the San Bernardino self storage center.