5 Tips to Spring Clean Your Career
As the weather warms and the light levels increase, we seem to acquire more energy and have the urge to get rid of unwanted or outdated items by cleaning out our closets and drawers.
But it’s not just our homes that need spring cleaning! Spring is also a great time to make your job search sparkle!
If you’re unemployed, underemployed, looking for new employment, or if you would simply like to prepare for the unexpected opportunity, we have 5 tips to help you make the most of your job search.
1. Clean-up Your Workspace
Your environment has an impact on how you feel when you are preparing an application package. If you have a room or area where you work in your home, give it a mini-spring cleaning. Rejuvenate the space with plants or flowers, put up some motivational or inspiring quotes, and post a calendar that will help you stay on track with your job search.
If you are too distracted or lack the required motivation to job search at home, try an Employment Resource Centre. The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre has two locations in the Durham Region; one in Pickering and one in Oshawa.
2. Refresh your Résumé
This is a good time to update your résumé with recent achievements or new courses that you have participated in. Get in the habit of maintaining a list of projects and accomplishments – when the time comes to update your résumé, you will be well-prepared. Remember to note the outcome and positive impact that your contributions had on your workplace.
You may also want to clear the clutter and simplify the language that you use in your résumé. Make sure that your résumé is well formatted without distracting font that is difficult to read. Key words that pertain to your field are important when you submit résumés to companies who use a scanning system. Make sure you customize your cover letter and résumé each time you apply for a different position.
3. Ace Your Interviews
Review standard interview questions and stop to consider the reason the employer has for asking the question, what points should you be covering. Do you have new experience or insight that might be highly valued by the employer? Make sure that your answers are honest and unrehearsed – employers want to get to know the real you.
When you do get called in for an interview, dress appropriately – if the place of business is a casual environment, you should dress professionally but comfortably – ensure that your fingernails and shoes are clean and don’t wear wrinkly clothing. Women may want to limit accessories, make-up and perfume which could distract the focus of the interviewer from your experience and skills.
Attend our “Ace Your Interviews” workshop for tips and information about the interview process.
4. Get Out and Network
Networking is the best way to find a job because the majority of vacancies are circulated via word-of-mouth. Job seekers are often uncertain about taking advantage of networking opportunities out of fear that they might come across as pushy or self-serving. Networking, however, is really about building relationships – not shameless self-promotion.
Focus on attending events that allow you to mingle with professionals who might be interested in what you have to offer. Listen attentively and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and contribute to a conversation. If you’re on LinkedIn, it is a good idea to connect with the people that you’ve met so that you can continue to develop a relationship. You never know when an opportunity might arise!
Our popular “Marketing and Networking” workshop is full of useful information for job seekers. Check the workshop schedule here.
5. Spruce Yourself Up On-line
According to a Jobvite survey, 80% of employers are looking to social media profiles before they interview and before they hire – this can help or hurt your chances of getting an interview or landing a job depending on how you choose to use social media.
In some cases, you can change your settings so that employers are unable to see your profiles or you can choose to share only information that presents you in a positive and professional light. If your profile is public, make sure it’s clean and professional without compromising images or negative language. If anyone has tagged you in images of this nature, remove them from your history.
If you are on LinkedIn, use it to your advantage. Update your experience, share information related to your field of interest and connect with people that you know. You may also want to recommend or endorse people that you have worked with – they will likely return the favour.