Getting organized consistently makes the top 10 list of New Year’s resolutions. In January the internet’s filled with blog tips helping people de-clutter their closets, kitchens, bathrooms, work space…the list goes on and on.
What are some tips for de-cluttering and managing a job search?
De-clutter your resume: Start your resume with a clearly defined objective or career summary followed by a skills section that lists relevant, specific skills sets. Focus the employment section on jobs within the past 10 years. Use bullet points and short sentence fragments to help the resume read easier.
Avoid rambling interview answers: When an employer wants to know your strengths and weaknesses or wants you to “tell me about yourself,” a brief, informed and well-thought out reply is key. Know what interview questions to expect before the interview and practice, practice, practice.
Develop a clear, concise elevator pitch: When you attend a career fair or networking event, or simply strike up a conversation, can you tell the person your career goals and skills? It’s called an elevator speech and it usually doesn’t come naturally. Write one down and rehearse it. The speech length depends on your audience and situation but always leaves the recipient with an understanding of your career objective.
Clean up your Facebook page: Ditch the inappropriate photos. Stop using profanity and never trash professors, coworkers or supervisors. Employers check candidates’ Facebook pages and a tasteless social media image will cost you interviews and job offers.
Created a targeted LinkedIn profile: Employers also check a candidate’s LinkedIn profile to view their professional and educational accomplishments. Making a LinkedIn profile involves more than just copying and pasting your resume. Check out the Career Services LinkedIn Tutorial that provides tips to get you started.
Clear out your inbox (or create a new email account or folder for job searching): Email becomes an essential communication tool during the job search. You’ll use it to apply for jobs, follow up after interviews and initiate networking opportunities. First, make sure you’re using a professional/appropriate sounding email (firstname.lastname@example.org isn’t). Second, create separate folders to help you manage your correspondences. Finally, delete any emails you no longer need.
Develop a productive plan: Create a job search routine and stick to it. This involves more than making to-do lists. You must manage your time and prioritize activities. A career counselor can help you form a strategy.
Finally, don’t give up. It takes 30 days to start a new habit or break an old one. Which is why the best time to begin de-cluttering your job search is right now.