Spring is the perfect time of the year to re-assess your career prospects and apply for new opportunities. Candidates often get set in their ways and try to mass target their job applications, this really isn’t the best way to approach a job search and can be detrimental at times.
Performing a ‘spring clean’ can be a really productive way of focussing your job search and presenting yourself as a more viable candidate to recruiters. By removing all the clutter and customising your approach there will only be relevant information for the viewer to concentrate on. So let’s get the duster out and begin dusting off your candidate profile…
Dust off your approach to job applications:
The first thing that you need to do is to freshen up your approach to the jobs that you are applying for.
Many candidates get carried away and try to apply for as many roles as possible, in most cases this isn’t the best thing to do. You need to use your time wisely and only apply for roles that you feel are relevant to your experience and qualifications – unless of course you are looking for a career change, and in this case you can outline that to the hiring manager in the covering letter. Personalise your applications and CV for the role that you are applying for so that the recruiter can clearly see that you are a good fit for the role.
Freshen up your CV:
Freshen up your CV! It is very easy to leave your CV in the same state that it has been in for years – you’d be surprised how quickly it goes out of date. Make sure that all your experience and skills are mentioned and that the document flows coherently and is easy to read. Another common mistake that candidates make is to just add their new experience to the bottom of their CV which results in long irrelevant content. Hiring managers really don’t need to know that you had a paper round when you were 15 years old – ‘which helped you learn about responsibly early on in your career’.
Also you don’t want to give everything away on your CV, candidates should aim to provoke interest from the recruiter and make them want to invite them in for an interview. It is extremely important as a candidate to remove anything that could act as a distraction to the reader. We would recommend only adding your last 5/10 years of experience as your life history isn’t necessary. Our final point on this would be to tailor your CV to the role that you are applying for and remove anything that isn’t necessary.
Tidy up your online presence:
When hiring managers are considering candidates for an interview, it is likely they will look them up on social media, to gain an insight into what the candidate is really like. This can be quite damaging for some candidates as first impressions count for a lot! If the first thing that the interviewer sees is a photo of you up to no good with your mates or sharing controversial thoughts, then it isn’t going to give a good impression to the interviewer. Yes, that means take those drunken pictures off your Facebook wall, or lock down your privacy settings (if you really can’t part with the images). It’s not just Facebook that you need to worry about, candidates should also consider setting up their privacy on Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
Keeping your LinkedIn profile professional is a must, and be sure to make it consistent with your CV. If you use a profile image match this on your LinkedIn profile and CV.
Clean your Inbox:
Signing up for job alerts is a great way to keep up to date with new vacancies, but this can result in a barrage of emails that you don’t pay attention to. If you are receiving an onslaught of job alerts, then it’s definitely time to clean your inbox and only focus on the job alerts you want to see. It is a legal requirement to have an unsubscribe button on every email communication that you receive, simply select this to stop receiving the emails. Or you could update your preferences with the more specific criteria so that you only receive roles which are relevant to you. Now you will be able to focus your attention on only the vacancies that matter to you.