Don’t underestimate the importance of having consistency between your resume and your social media presence when looking for a job or trying to establish your professional brand.
Given the continued tightness in the job market and the omnipresence of social media, companies are doing everything possible to properly research potential job candidates. As always, companies are still performing formal and traditional due diligence by: • Analyzing your resume for gaps and inconsistencies • Contacting educational institutions to assure that your degrees are real • Calling past employers to be sure you actually worked at the companies you listed • Speaking with your references
Companies are now, however, also performing new types of social media based due diligence with the goal of gaining an overall perspective of you as shown in paper and as seen in real life. As a result, they are also: • Reading your public LinkedIn page to assure consistency with your resume and reading any recommendations given by those in your LinkedIn network • Checking your public Facebook page to see if they can gain an understanding of you outside the workplace • Performing a general Google search on your name looking for other interesting tidbits of information that will give them a better understanding of the overall you; note that this could be positive or negative based on what they find
In addition to using the internet and social media as a way to research you once you have come to their attention, they also use social media as a way to find you in the first place. Employers have been known to use products such as LinkedIn to find people that work at competitive companies that they respect with the specific intent of hiring away their people. This has multiple advantages for the company including weakening their competitor and reducing the learning curve of the new employee. From your perspective as the employee in question, they can’t find you if your LinkedIn profile is not completed and up to date. That said, if they find you in this manner, then when you send them your resume it must be consistent with your online info.
A convergence of your resume and social media that can be fraught with danger during your job search is unflattering pictures and/or comments about you on Facebook or other social networking platforms. For example, if you say in your resume that you are a quiet, conservative, and ethical person and your friend’s public Facebook page shows a picture of you in a less than conservative situation, your resume will very likely be moved from the table to the trash can and you will never know it.
In the title of this blog I refer to the importance of “resume and social media consistency”. This doesn’t mean that they have to be the same, it just means that they have to be consistent. Certainly the factual information, such as the dates that you worked at specific companies and your college degrees, should be identical; but other information may be complementary, presented from a different perspective, and/or contained in one and not the other. For example, your resume may not include your philanthropic activities, such as volunteering to run an annual event for the Special Olympics or chairing a fundraiser for a local food pantry; but these types of information on you in your social media or within the social media of the organizations you are helping can quietly and without your knowledge be of great value to you. It’s funny in life, sometimes when you perform selfless acts of kindness, in the long run, the one that ends up being help the most is you. This type of social media is certainly different than what is on your resume, but helps paint a more complete and rounded picture of you beyond just your specific work track record and accomplishments.
In closing, I would just like to say that whether or not you are currently looking for a job, I suggest that you • Compare your current resume to social media based information to assure there are no accidental inconstancies. • Look for internet-based or social media-based information about you that doesn’t present you in a way you would like to be seen and, if possible, work to remove it. • If you have done great things like climbing high mountains or have been of value to your fellow man, consider adding it to your profiles. On the one hand it may be of value to you; on the other hand, it may be of value to others by providing them inspiration to do the same.
If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.
Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.
Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.