Refresh Your Job Search: How to Update Your Resume, Network, Interview Skills & More
Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or not, it’s wise to keep your career-related materials current and job search skills up to date. However, if you’re like most of us with packed schedules and obligations outside of the work, you probably don’t do this as often as you should.
Because many job seekers don’t regularly update their job search tools, like resumes and LinkedIn profiles, it can make it more challenging than it needs to be when they’re ready to search for jobs. Periodically updating such items and keeping your networking and interviewing skills fresh means you’ll be good to go when you find a job you’re excited to apply for.
Continue reading for tips on how to refresh your job search, including updating your resume, social profiles, online presence, and more.
Document Your Accomplishments
If you don’t do this already, begin documenting your accomplishments on a weekly basis. Doing so will provide you easy access to information to regularly update your resume, social profiles, cover letter, and interview responses. You can also refer to past performance reviews to gather information to make updates.
How to Update Your Resume
Whether you need to learn how to update your resume after your first job or your fifth, similar rules apply:
- Update your summary to reflect who you are and what you’re currently interested in.
- Update your work history section with recent accomplishments and positions. Remove older positions if necessary.
- Include plenty of quantifiable data — use lots of numbers to show the level of your accomplishments.
- Utilize powerful success verbs to begin each bullet point in your work history section, such as “developed,” “spearheaded,” and “curated."
- Ensure dates and titles are accurate.
- Research target jobs and align your resume with keywords in the job descriptions for each.
- Make sure you’re using a clean and modern-style template for your field.
- Proofread and share your resume to gather feedback.
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Refresh Your Online Presence
Make necessary adjustments to your online presence so you’re continually comfortable with what a recruiter or hiring manager may find when looking you up online. Items that you want to ensure adequately represent your professional image and brand include:
- Online resume
- About Me page
- LinkedIn profile and other public social profiles
- Personal or professional blog
Do a Google search to see what information comes up about you and eliminate anything (images, links, etc.) you’re not comfortable with others seeing.
How to Improve LinkedIn Profiles
LinkedIn is the main professional social networking site used by recruiters and other professionals. LinkedIn tips for job seekers include:
- Make sure your headshot is professional and current.
- Align your work history and educational sections with your resume.
- Update your “About” section to be current and compelling.
- Create a clear and engaging headline that showcases what you do.
- Include links to your publications and portfolio.
- Request recommendations and endorsements.
Revitalize Your Network
Reach out to former contacts and let them know what you’re currently up to. From there, make an ongoing effort to stay in touch with colleagues, alumni, and other professionals. If you’re considering a job or career change, you can communicate more easily when the time is right since you’ll be reaching out to your contacts based on a “warm” relationship vs. one that’s grown “cold” due to your lack of engagement.
Brush Up on Your Interview Skills
Preparing for an upcoming interview is common sense, though you can practice interviewing with a friend or family member at any time to keep those skills strong and boost your confidence. Refresh your job search by going back through common interview questions and rethinking your answers to them.
Retool Your Elevator Speech
Take your previous 30-second pitch about yourself and retool it so that it focuses on who you are today. Make it concise, clear, and coherent, and articulate your strengths. Also, include one piece of personal information, so it’s clear you’re about more than just your work.
How Often Should You Update Your Resume and Refresh Your Job Search Tools?
You should update your resume and refresh your job search tools at least once every 6 to 12 months. However, you should continually keep track of your accomplishments, so it’s easier to make updates when you’re ready to do so.
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