It's time to Spring clean your job search
Published: 31 Mar 2016 By Georgina Bloomfield
A new season is upon us – Spring time is here! Usually we use the early sunshine of the year as an excuse to declutter our houses, clean our cars and generally have a tidy up of our lives. But have you considered this for your job search? Did you maybe use the cold Winter period as an excuse not to look for a new career? Either it was Christmas, or New Year, or generally just gloomy, cold darkness that stopped you from being motivated to get a new job under your belt. Well, there are no more excuses! I have some great tips on where you can start to Spring clean your job search and get a cracking career out of just a few small changes.
Dust off your CV
Your CV is still the most important aspect of your career search. The way you present it, the way you write it and where you post it. The best way to do this is to completely start from scratch, especially if your CV is quite old. Have a copy of your existing CV printed out and cross out anything that’s no longer impressive or relevant. If you’re unsure of what’s what, take a look at a few job descriptions for similar jobs to your own (or jobs that you’re now looking for – this is probably better) and have a look at what these employers want. You need to be able to demonstrate within your CV that you can give what the prospective employer wants. The only way to know what they want is to take a look at their job description and what the requirements are.
Scrub up on your interview skills
Interview skills are something that you may think you can wing on the day of the interview itself. However, if you haven’t had an interview in a few years, you might want to reconsider your supposed skillset. It all depends on the type of job you’re going for, but aspects of your personality can also both help and hinder your interview experience. There are loads of resources out there for you to get to grips with your interviewing prowess, such as tutorial videos or simply talking out loud to yourself with a handful of typical interview questions in your hand. (This option should probably be done in private; otherwise it’s a bit weird).
Tidy up your online presence
If you haven’t taken up a job search for a number of years, chances are that your online presence will be significantly lacking- and that’s okay. Nowadays everyone’s CV/portfolio/skillset is cascaded all over the internet to attract recruiters and head-hunters. You’re definitely going to want to compete with them and at the same time demonstrate that even though you’ve been in a job for quite a few years, you can adapt to change and have a look at where you’re best suited to online. Have you got a LinkedIn account? If you don’t, then you need to set one up. If you do have one but it’s looking quite bare or outdated, read my tips here for creating the perfect LinkedIn profile. Do you have any active social media accounts? Even websites that you’d never associate with work such as Facebook or Twitter need to be looked at if you’re signed up to them. The use of social media can both help and hinder your job search – so make sure to review your privacy settings and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a future recruiter to see. If you’re looking for further tips, then check out my article here on how social media can actually ruin your career.
Renew your work wardrobe
This isn’t just an excuse to buy some fancy new clothes. Buying new stuff for a renewed work wardrobe can give you some great motivation in your job search. Get a couple of great interview outfits that you could dress down for the day to day office wear – that way nothing goes stale in your wardrobe! Buying a new interview outfit will give you both the confidence and motivation you need to be a successful job hunter. If you’ve spent some serious money on a great interview suit, you’re going to want to justify that spend by putting it to good use.
Make your motivation shine
There’s a fine line between sparkling motivation and the stink of desperation. If you’re desperate for another job, the worst thing you can do is to let other people aware of it. In times like these you’ll completely thwart your own job search by applying for the wrong positions and panicking during interviews. The search will only be lengthened if you become desperate. Only apply for jobs that are within your reach and that you actually want. On the other side of the coin however you need to be prepared to walk away from a position. You don’t want to enter salary negotiations and say yes to an offer that’s too low for the job you’ll be doing. Once you have a shiny new CV, a great online presence and some fantastic new interview clobber, the motivation you have should show through on its own.
Make new experiences
If you’re still looking for ways to Spring clean your job search, try going to some new conferences, finding interesting training courses and generally just meeting new people. When you dust off your CV you want to be able to replace old things on there with new, better experiences.