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Do Your Social Media Profiles Match Your Resume?

Do Your Social Media Profiles Match Your Resume?

By Mark Swartz
Monster Senior Contributing Writer

Here’s a saga for the times. A mid-size Canadian manufacturing company was recently looking for a new Accounts Payable manager. One of my colleagues, a recruiter, found them an “ideal” candidate.

The job seeker my colleague put forward to the client had an excellent resume. Her transitional business card was great. She had also taken the time to set up her online profiles with Facebook, BeKnown and LinkedIn.

My colleague was shocked when the employer refused to even interview his prized candidate. “Shortly after I gave them her name, they looked up her social media profiles. There were no revealing photos or anything like that. But for some reason the dates and company names she’d listed on her resume didn’t match up to the ones she’d stated online.”

More Marketing Material Means More Chances For Inconsistency

Remember the good old days for job seekers, when all you needed was a resume, cover letter and transitional business card? Back then (like, say, early 2010 or so) keeping track of what you’d written was fairly simple.

Not so today. Now it’s becoming the norm to create online profiles for yourself through social media. An employer then has the option of viewing information about you on several platforms, in addition to your standard resume.

While this gives you extra exposure, it also opens the door to making more errors. You need to be careful that what you write about yourself remains similar across the various profiles and platforms. Otherwise you are planting seeds of suspicion in the minds of potential employers about your honesty (or your attention to detail), as did that job seeker my colleague told me about.

Start By Using Your Name In A Consistent, Professional Way

What name appears atop your resume? It should be precisely the same one you use on your transitional business card, cover letters, and each social media profile you create for yourself.

Sounds like a no-brainer. Except for people who have middle names, hyphenated names, or names that changed after marriage or divorce.

For instance my extended name, for real, is Mark David Swartz. I’ve chosen not to use my middle name, David, in any of my profiles. Thus it would be a mistake for me to start using Mark David Swartz on my resume, but keep only Mark Swartz for my social media sites. It would confuse people who are searching for me online.

However if you happen to have a popular first and last name, like John (or Jane) Smith, the opposite may apply. It might actually be in your favour to start using your middle or hyphenated name on all your marketing material and social media pages. You’d have a better chance of standing out.

Other Common Inconsistencies

Here are some additional information bits that job seekers tend to switch around arbitrarily.


If you’re going to use a different picture of yourself on each of your social media sites, just be sure that each one resembles the other. Big differences in appearnace can trigger doubts about what you might be hiding. (Note: it is NOT necessary to include a photo of yourself on social media profiles, so don’t feel that you have to).

Titles And Dates Of Employment

It can be a pain to re-enter this basic information on each social media site. But it’s essential that each time you do so, it’s exactly the same.


Why do people insist on varying the info about their key achievements or skills from one profile to another? My one-step solution for this: copy and paste from your resume to your social media profiles. There, problem solved.

Cross-Promote Yourself For Better Results

Each of your communication touchpoints should give a similar message about you. And they should cross-promote you at every opporunity.

Cross-promote? Yep. Your contact info atop your resume should contain the URL’s for your social media pages. So should your transitional business card. Now you’re letting people know exactly where to find you without them having to use a search engine.

Tying It Together…Consistently, Of Course

Lots to think about here. So I’ll summarize. The key to presenting yourself to potential employers in a uniform, easy to find way, is to use the same name for yourself – and provide similar information about you – across all of your marketing communications.

Included in this are your three foundational marketing pieces: your resume, cover letter and transitional business card. So is any virtual marketing you produce for yourself, e.g. social media profiles, a blog, personal website, comments you make on other’s blogs, and so on.

When harmonizing your content and contact information, proofread carefully to catch any errors. The extra care you put in today will avert employer distrust tomorrow.

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