5 Things to Do Before You Start Your Job Search

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in ComLead, Integrated Marketing Communication

5 Things to Do Before You Start Your Job Search

We don’t have to tell you the job market is competitive, especially for young graduates. Gaining a competitive edge and building new skills to thrive in our changing world compelled many of our students to earn their Master’s. These big-picture skills are key. But before your begin a job search, don’t forget the little things! Follow these 5 tips to make sure the you that recruiters find online matches your true, professional, stellar self.

1. Be OK With Boring*

*Well maybe not boring – but definitely simple and straightforward.

When you first created your custom, personal email account you probably thought your unique new handle was quirky and cool. And it was!

But your future boss will not be so delighted. They will judge. I promise you, they will judge. So before you start blasting out your insanely impressive and up-to-date resume, make sure the email at the top is equally poised and professional.  I’m looking at you, SparklyHippozPoohBear1997@hotmail.com.

Do you know what works just fine? A simple FirstNameLastName01@gmail.com. You can even choose your favorite number!

I think this “Be OK With Boring” principle goes for your resume too – ESPECIALLY if you are submitting applications electronically. Electronic application tracking software simply can’t process the funky graphics, fonts and QR codes sprinkled across your very chic resume. And if the computer can’t read your resume, you better believe it will get “sifted out” long before a pair of human eyes comes across it. When it comes to online applications, simple/elegant/classic/timeless (read: boring) is probably is best.

2. Revamp Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re applying for a job, it’s extremely likely the recruiters will look over your LinkedIn profile. A recent Jobvite survey found that over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn post jobs and to search for, contact, keep tabs on and vet candidates before their interviews. The savvy job candidate uses this to her advantage: keep your LinkedIn page current and use it to showcase all your accomplishments. Here’s a great 10 Minute LinkedIn Makeover – give it a go!

3. Update Your Headshot

This goes hand-in-hand with the last rule. Recruiters on LinkedIn WILL see your headshot, so make it just one more opportunity to show off your professional and competent image. People get creative on LinkedIn, showcasing who they are outside work – sailboats, traveling, families, oh my! But you can never go wrong with a bright, fresh-looking headshot.

4. Tweak Your Twitter

The majority of recruiters use Twitter to find or screen job candidates. Despite this fact, some people use Twitter to broadcast their most arbitrary, minute, and sometimes really inappropriate streams of consciousness to the whole wide web. You know to refrain from being racist, bigoted or mean-spirited where future employers might see that stuff. But take some time to scroll through your past tweets – click on the links you shared, play the videos you tweeted, scour those pictures.

Maybe that stuff is hilarious and fun and totally you – but not the You you would project in an interview. You may have posted content a long time ago, but it is not too late to delete a misrepresentative tweet now. Or better yet – save yourself the hassle and make your Twitter private.

5. Protect that Profile!

Facebook reports that 50% of recruiters use the social media giant in their hiring process. Like protecting your Twitter account, the thing to ask yourself here is, “Does my Facebook profile share the same things I would share in an interview?” This guide, straight off Facebook, is a good place to get started.


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