Guest post by Tim Eyre:

Francis Bacon once said that “Consistency is the foundation of virtue.”

To a potential employer who knows little else about a person he is thinking of hiring, consistency conveys not only virtue but a whole lot more. A job candidate who comes across as consistent yields a first impression of reliability and trustworthiness. Yet as I receive information from people interested in a job with my company I am struck by how often I am able to flag inconsistencies about them – and this happens before I even meet them!

Recent surveys suggest that over 30% of employers are using Facebook as a resource to screen potential employees. Many are also tapping heavily into professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

If information from one or more of these online sources doesn’t jive with the information in an applicant’s resume, red flags will be raised – and quickly! Nothing will deep six a job hunter’s chances faster than the appearance of deception. Here are a few things for job seekers to remember to help avoid the inconsistency impasse.

1) An online presence can hurt you…

…but you might need one! In today’s world, just about every recruiter will try to find as much info as possible by conducting an online search for each potential candidate’s name.

So then, if you are completely devoid of an online existence then they can’t find anything contradictory about you, right?

Well, yeah, but the bad news is that lack of an online presence can just as easily make them forget about you altogether. They are likely to quickly move on and check out other prospects, thereby eliminating you from the competition.

It is much smarter to make things easy for them by creating an elegant but accurate online identity which casts you in the best possible light. This can be done via business and social networking profiles in Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

2) Always tell the truth

If you can’t, then don’t lie!

If your resume says that you have a bachelor’s degree but your Facebook profile says you have a master’s, it’s very likely that your resume is headed for the trash can along with your chances of landing the job. Even when the resume version seems less flattering, the two versions still conflict and you are apt to come across as untruthful, careless, or both.

3) Never deal in half-truths

The other guy will inevitably see the wrong half! When you say you aren’t employed full time right now and then they find out from looking at your Facebook page that you’ve actually been unemployed for over a year, the fact that you technically were not lying will not earn you or your candidacy very much sympathy.

4) Tailor your brand to the company

Just don’t go too far! Simply copying your resume verbatim into your LinkedIn profile is not a good idea.

Sure, it avoids inconsistencies but it fails to showcase your personality and even worse, can make you appear lazy and uncaring.

Your resume and profile should be complementary pieces to one another.

You can make sure that they share most of the same information while at the same time making the tone, presentation, and overall feel completely different. It’s OK to tailor your resume to the specific company or position you are vying for and make it look different from the resume you submit to a different company. Just make sure the facts on the resumes are the same as those on your online profiles!

5) Look in the mirror

But do it online! Before contacting potential employers or submitting resumes, find out what you look like online! You wouldn’t go into an interview without first looking in the mirror, right? Well, you need to look at your online self just as carefully. You
can begin by doing what most employers do: Google your own name. This is the first step in establishing a baseline of the information about you which is readily available to others. Then check every piece of information about you on every site you come up with and make sure it is both accurate and consistent with what you intend to tell your interviewers.

Consistency is not that hard to achieve. All it takes is a combination of honesty and diligence. The candidate who is so impressive offline needs to be the same guy as his online counterpart with the same name. He knows that he is the same guy and he is the one that can make sure his future employer knows it too. Being truthful, careful, and thorough are the keys to maintaining on and offline 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 Redlands Self Storage center. He also was recently meeting customers and staff at the Whittier Self Storage Center.