By now we all know that each one of us has a web presence, whether we like it or not. It's fairly easy these days to find anyone on the internet, especially via the all-powerful tool of social media. Even if you have a private profile on these sites, your name and certain markers still exist, and are searchable.

Checking out your online presence is one of the first ways that potential employers get a feel for who you are, besides your (outstanding) résumé and cover letter. SO, it's really important that your online presence is CONSISTENT. You don't want an employer finding different names, positions, or even locations across different sites. Consistency is key in your online presence - especially if you have a common name. It's really important to show potential employers that you have a defined sense of who you are, your strengths, and what you contribute to the world. You're also proving that you aren't a web troll in your private life. You wouldn't believe how often a random comment (via your Facebook profile, on another site) can negatively affect how you're seen by an employer. In essence, having a consistent web presence is part of your brand - and if you didn't know by now - everyone has a brand - those qualities and experiences that make you unique.

Here are some tips and tricks and things to check for to make sure that your online presence is consistent:


Your name must be consistent across all of your social networks. This means your website (if you don't have a website for yourself, consider getting one now.) Especially if you go by a middle name, or a shortened version of your name, make it easier for potential employers to reach out to you and know that they're getting your name right. If you're "A. Kate Anderson" on LinkedIn, then you should be "A. Kate Anderson" on Facebook, Twitter, your website, AND your résumé. This also goes for anyone who has changed their name for any reason. Your name is YOURS to do with as you wish, just make sure it's consistent.


Make sure that your LinkedIn photo and any website/social media photos are clearly you (not your dog, though we all love dogs!) A good headshot is not hard to take these days. This is an easy way for employers to confirm that you are who you are. Once you've got that coveted position, if you really want Fido to be your profile pic, have at it!


Have you moved recently? Is your Facebook account updated but not your LinkedIn? Even if you're applying for remote positions, it's important that your locations are consistent on your résumé and all networking sites.


While it's not important to have your entire job history listed on LinkedIn (or your résumé for that matter) it is VERY IMPORTANT that they match. You weren't snorkeling in the Bahamas for all of 2012-13 and also VP of Acquisitions at an International Bank. Make sure the time periods across your résumé and your networking sites are consistent.

Following these tips will help to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward with employers before they reach out to you.

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