job hunt, spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning: Preparing for a Job Hunt

With only a few weeks left before spring arrives, thousands of households are gearing up for their annual purging and polishing for a clean start to the new season. Our question is: why does this time-honored tradition only apply to the domestic and not the job hunt?
Even if you’re not actively looking outside of your current professional role, it’s always best to be your freshest in the event that the perfect opportunity lands in your inbox.  Some things you might consider dusting off or cleaning up this spring if you end up preparing for a job hunt:

Your Resume
Despite hype that your Linkedin and social media presence are all you should worry about, there is no disputing the importance of a resume when it comes to the job hunt, interviewing and landing your next big role.  It’s the best, most complete representation of your professional self, and chances are that the SVP looking to hire you wants to read through your resume rather than your Facebook page or Twitter feed when reviewing your credentials. So, if you haven’t looked at your resume in a few years, or don’t even know where to find it, it’s time for a tune-up. Without it, your network won’t be able to highlight your profile, executive search firms won’t present you to clients, and slowing the process to make your edits could mean a lost chance at a great opportunity.

Your Brand
Now to address the hype around your Linkedin and social media presence – yes, how you appear online is also important.  Say that SVP (or someone on his team) Googles your name – are you making it easier or harder for him / her to hire you? It’s up to each individual how active or present to be online, but the safest bet is to assume anything you post, tweet, etc. – or that is posted about you – is fair game. Google yourself, make sure you have a handle on your online presence, and that you are proactively tailoring it (however small or large it may be) so that it will only help you, not hurt you.

Your Interviewing Skills
If it has been 3 years since your last interview, or since the last time you really applied for something that you wanted, then remember how much hard work you used to put into your interviewing prep.  Now that you are more senior, do you think expectations around your communication skills, body language, etc. will be lower or higher? Make sure to have a succinct, prepared answer for what you have achieved and where you would like to go, whether you’d like to stay within your own firm or move on to something different. Which brings us to….

What You Actually Want
This does not mean you need to know exactly what you would like your next step or role to be.  People are approached with opportunities outside of their set ideal all of the time, and those who are open-minded might find themselves happier, making more money, and with a faster path in a role they had never anticipated.  What we’re getting at are the core things that motivate you, drive you, and make you happy. Ideally, these select items will help shape the roles, industries, or companies you may target down the road, and you’ll be able to concisely communicate what you want and why you want it to whoever asks. If you’ve had your head down for a while, consider what you want, and consequently what you are willing to give in order to get there.