We know that some employers look to social networking sites to vet their potential new hires. While it may not exactly be a fair strategy, it's a reality in today's virtual world. So what happens when you share your name with another person – particularly, one who lives in your region and who happens to be a social networking butterfly?
This question was asked on the Boston Globe's Job Doc blog a few days ago and it raises a good point. Should you be worried if this is your situation – especially if you have taken great precautions to stay off those sites?
Job Doc says not to get too concerned. While the individual may live in your region, hopefully he/she won't be targeting similar roles in your same industry. A savvy recruiter or hiring manager likely will delve deeper and discover that although there is another Jim Smith out there, one is Jim Smith the software programmer while the other is Jim Smith the CPA. There are many candidates out there with similar or duplicate names.
If you're still worried, the Job Doc suggests using your middle name or initial or adding a professional designation or degree to your name. Instead of Jim Smith, use James Richard Smith, James R. Smith, or James Richard Smith, CPA. You get the idea. And, when sending out your resume and job correspondence, don't forget to include your home address or hometown. This will further distinguish you from others sharing your name.