As the weather warms up and thoughts turn to spring, don’t just focus your spring cleaning efforts on your house and yard. Give your job search a spring cleaning. Spring is a great time to take a fresh look and step up your efforts for success.
- Start with a clean house – Get rid of your frustration, disappointment, apathy, whatever it is that is bogging you down. Commit to a fresh start to re-energize your job search. Certainly learn from your experience to date but don’t focus on the negative.
- Create a plan – If you were planning your summer vacation you’d identify where you want to go and then determine how you are going to get there and what you need to bring. Your career search deserves at least equal attention. You need to define your goals and a specific plan of how you plan to achieve them. You can’t get there if you don’t know where you are going. Assess your skills, strengths and interests. Think about the type of work you enjoyed on internships, part-time jobs or even on campus. Document your plan and measure your progress against it. Set weekly goals and hold yourself accountable. Reward yourself by doing something you enjoy once you’ve accomplished your goals for the week.
- Dust off your tools — As you embark on your job search journey you also need to make sure you have the appropriate tools. Do you have your resume up to date and ready to go? Have someone else proof it for you just to be sure there are no typos or errors. Practice writing customized cover letters and ask for feedback. Consider developing a networking profile to share during networking meetings. Think about who you could use for references and collect their current contact information. Ask their permission to use them as references and tell them you will notify them when you share their information with a hiring manager so you can brief them on the job. Having the right tools won’t get you a job but it can get your foot in the door so you have the opportunity to sell yourself for the job.