‘Tis the season to . . get job ready!

 Holidays are here.  Time to get to work!

The shops are adorned with Christmas decorations, colleagues are discussing upcoming holiday plans and your favourite radio station begins to sneak in Christmas tunes. You’d be forgiven for thinking that your job hunting plans should be hung up alongside the kid’s stockings.

In reality, however, December and January are really the prime time for you to get your ambitions, career objectives, resume, social media and digital profiles revised, renewed and ready for the New Year.

OK, so that sounds like a lot of work and anyway, you have already mentally allocated your few precious weeks off to either relaxing in the great outdoors or maybe relaxing indoors. But, stop and think for a moment about how crucial it is to your New Year success. Find some time to really evaluate what it is you want out of your next role. By examining your experience, training and skills and reviewing how best to communicate them, you increase your chances of success and may make your job hunt a lot easier in the long run.

Let’s start with the resume.

Yes, of course you know that resumes today should be succinct and spell checked. However, when was the last time you revised the format? If you have been using the same format for years it might be time for an update. This can sound like a daunting task but, if your resume needs it and while you have the time, revamp it into something with a professional, contemporary look and feel. Updated and ready to go when needed.

Next … who’s ‘keyword conscious?’

Let face it, in this digital age your resume is often searched, filed and sorted using ‘keywords’. It is important that your job title reflect the role that you do and the type of work you are applying for. For example, your current job title maybe Production Artist but the role you are really performing is graphic design. Many people like to have job titles that stand out or sound unique but in the world of keyword optimisation, it is often better to have (or at least make reference to) the mainstream title for that role. Example: Production Artist (Graphic Design). Use your time to revisit job titles in your resume and profile. Ensure references to your positon and duties are easy to understand.

Social Media – the silent interview!

There are gobsmacking statistics floating around about how hiring managers look you up on social media before they even meet you.  It’s 100% true.  Just as you check out a local restaurant online or conduct a virtual look through before attending an open house, hiring managers can (and often do) search a prospective applicant’s digital profile. This can include numerous social media and digital sharing sites.  It is important to have a professional presence on social media and regardless of whether you openly share or have strict privacy settings, spend some time over the break updating these sites. Have a look at what colleagues and others in your field are doing and make sure your profile and other visible key elements complement your resume.

Use your precious holiday time to really pull apart these important job search tools. Your resume and digital profile are the keys to your job search. Ask for help or even just a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to assist you in your review process. Most importantly however, over the holiday period, spend some time thinking about yourself.  Your strengths, your experience, where you want to be and what you want out of your next job. A clear focus will help determine where you look for jobs and what you apply for. It will save you valuable time and help you build a resume and digital profile perfectly suited to the new career you have in mind.


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