Does Your Job Search Need a Spring Cleaning?

12 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Job Search

Spring is finally in the air bringing with it a sense of renewal signaling a time to clean out and organize. For job hunters, this is an opportunity to refresh your campaign and get a new perspective on your search.

Here are twelve ways to reinvigorate your job search by applying some spring-cleaning to your computer and social media networks.

Throw out the junk. This activity is useful to streamline your job search processes. Also, just the act of going through files and other materials to clean them out is cathartic and will leave you feeling refreshed.

  1. Go through your inboxes on both your computer and your social networks. Get rid of the deadwood and minimize the nagging emails that can potentially take up brain space and reduce your effectiveness. Do you have old requests or invites that you haven’t acted upon? If they’re too old, delete or archive them. Are there email newsletters you’re not reading? Unsubscribe.
  2. Update your feeds. (This applies to your RSS reader as well as to an Internet homepage such as Yahoo or Google.) What news sources are you currently reading? Are there feeds that you want to add or delete? If it’s still relevant and useful, keep it, otherwise it’s good to be a bit ruthless.
  3. Clean out your Twitter following. Get rid of bots, etc. While this reduces your followers, the remaining ones are more effective.
  4. Stop alerts and notifications that are no longer useful. At same time, add new ones that you’ve found.

Update your look. It’s a good opportunity to spiff up your presentation on social media platforms. At a minimum, do this for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as well as any other business related networks or blogs. While some readers may use Facebook for personal connections only, it’s still a good idea to present a professional image. You never know who’s less than six degrees away from you.

  1. Change your photograph(s). Do you look professional? Are you smiling? Does the photo portray a sense of assurance? You should be the only one in the photograph. This means no spouses, significant others or children. Also, no extraneous body parts where someone’s been cut out of the picture.
  2. Check your keywords. Are they positioning you in the way that you want to be presented? If not, modify them.
  3. Update your profile. While you may be deep in job search mode, you can add positive information that shows that you’re active and in the game. Include any conferences, shows or events you participated in, as well as articles you’ve written or presentations you’ve made. Don’t forget to include a couple of personal details to show that you’re well rounded.
  4. Add new connections. Have you reconnected with colleagues from your past? Have you met new folks through your job search? Don’t overlook your social contacts. You never know who they know. [For some help, here’s how to build your social media network by being an extrovert.]

Give stuff away. For a job hunt, this translates to going through your contacts and social graph to determine how you can help them. The goal is to pay it forward.

  1. Go through the contacts in your virtual rolodex as well as on your various social media networks. Who haven’t you spoken to in a while? Make a list of the people that you want to reach out to and reconnect with. Consider how to handle each one so that you’ve got a reason to call. Then start contacting them systematically.
  2. Give colleagues useful information. While you’re cleaning out your files consider if the articles you’re seeing would be useful to one of your current or former colleagues. Remember, this doesn’t apply to confidential information. Is there something that you can send that helps them? (Note: It’s about them not you.)
  3. Comment on recent life changes experienced by former and current colleagues. Have they changed jobs, gotten married or had a child? Leave comments on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites and blogs. Remember everyone loves to be talked about and, being in job search, you’re looking for a social opportunity to reach out and show you care without pushing your issues.
  4. Use HARO to get leads for connecting. HARO is a free social media service that connects readers with journalists who need specific resources for their columns. Send leads to your colleagues where appropriate. Helping them to get their fifteen seconds of fame will help them to remember you.

After being in job search for a while, everyone needs to take a step back and assess what they’ve learned and where they’re going. Springtime is a great time to reassess your public profile and social media connections. In the process, you can get organized.

Do you have any other Spring cleaning suggestions for job seekers related?
Please include your thoughts in the comments section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: gmclean via Flickr

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