It’s the most awful time of the year (Sorry, not a fan of January. It is the Monday of the year) and for those who are unemployed or actively looking for a job, January could be the start of a year that brings with it a brand-new career.
But are you really ready? Before you start sending out applications, here are a few things to check.
1. How are your Google results looking?
Before applying for a job, Google your full name and see what comes up. It is also a good idea to Google your full name and your title. You never know what you might find and it helps if you are aware of exactly what pops up when you’re Google’d. For me, I have never found anything besides my social media profiles but I do have an issue where family and friends keep finding me and my blog on Google. Yes I want readers but not people who know me. That just feels weird. Google yourself on your browser and even a friend or family member’s just to ensure that there are no nasty surprises if prospective employers decide to do the same (Trust me, this is a thing).
2. Are your social media profiles okay?
Similar to Google, your social media profiles can tell A LOT about you. Be sure to go through all of your accounts and make sure there is nothing inappropriate such as pictures of you getting drunk/high or wearing something unprofessional. Yes, animal onesies are adorable but is that picture something you want your future employer and co-workers to see? This would also be a good time to set your profiles on private.
3. Are all your documents updated?
This one…is pretty obvious. But do check to ensure that you have the latest copy of your resume. Back when our company was hiring for a Marketing Intern, I was horrified when my former manager told me that one of the staff didn’t update their resume with their latest role (i.e the current role that they were occupying in the company at that time) and Recruitment emailed them back to decline their application. This is a tiny error and it upset me that something so minor cost her.
4. Do you have a cover letter?
Yes, cover letters are not mandatory for all applications. But it feels so good when you can explain to the company more about you and why they should hire you. Try to have a cover letter tailored to each of the jobs you apply for. Hack- have a cover letter template for each industry you are applying in and then simply edit your cover letter for each application.
5. How is your elevator pitch?
“Tell me about yourself” is the ABSOLUTE worse interview question ever. And yet every time it feels like you do not know who you are. Prepare yourself for this by coming up with an elevator pitch- a one or two minute speech about who you are, what your background is (again this is to show why you are the best candidate so make sure you focus on skills you have that will be an asset in your prospective new role) and what you are looking for in a job.
Working on an elevator pitch for yourself is also great for when you start a new job and need to introduce yourself to others.