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It’s time to ‘spring clean’ your career

  • Publish Date: Posted 6 months ago
  • Author:by Lucy Waddock

​The days are getting longer and the weather is warming up, meaning that spring has officially sprung! So, what better time than now to consider achieving your ambitions with a career revamp?

We have all the tips right here to help you dust off the cobwebs and spruce up your job prospects as the new season blossoms.

Refresh your CV

Having a CV that is up-to-date, well presented and easy to read means that you will be ready to spring into action as soon as the next great job opportunity presents itself. It will also provide the perfect foundation to quickly and seamlessly write a cover letter which is tailored to the role in question.

Take the time to ensure that your job history is accurate and that the dates match up. Your CV should include all of your latest training, qualifications, experience, expertise and responsibilities within your latest positions.

Replace clichéd expressions like ‘strong team player’ and ‘possess good organisational skills’ with strong, active verbs that demonstrate results. This might include being instrumental in ‘expanding the team’ or ‘overseeing a restructure’.

You are ultimately being hired to resolve an issue a prospective employer might have or to bridge a skills gap. The best indicator you can give to show that you're right for the role is an example of where you’ve solved a specific problem.

Where possible, use numbers to document your performance. Instead of simply saying, ‘managed a team’, quantify it by saying ‘managed a team of four employees who had a 100% client retention rate over one year.’

Many firms use software to screen CVs for key phrases relating to the position in question, so include keywords related to your skills and background. Have a friend check your CV for spelling and grammatical errors and always tell the truth as you might get caught out further along the recruitment process when valuable time and energy has been invested by all parties involved, something which you won't be thanked for.

Be present on social media

Make sure that you’re active on LinkedIn as this is where recruiters and employers will be poised to seek you out. You can do this by sharing content which is relevant to your industry but be careful of posting opinions which might offend others. This shows prospective employers that you take a genuine interest in your field and its latest developments. In addition, much like your CV, you need to update your profile so that it reflects your latest position and achievements and continue growing your network by making connections.

To do so, add links to any websites which showcase your work. Write a summary of your career, which includes as many keywords as possible to make you more visible to prospective employers. Enlist colleagues and clients to write testimonials and endorse your skills. Increase your volume of connections by reaching out to former colleagues and send a personal note with each invitation to connect. Expand on the ‘Experience’ section to include a concise but detailed description of every role you’ve held.

Refine your online presence

Meanwhile, it’s essential that you present yourself in a favourable light on more personal platforms such as Twitter and Instagram so that you maintain a clean online reputation.

Adapt your privacy settings accordingly so that prospective employers can’t see your updates and photos or be sure only to post information that showcases you in a positive and professional way.

Learn new skills

One of the best ways to spring clean your career is to boost the skills you already have or learn new ones within your profession. This is why it’s always a good idea to be receptive to attending in-house training programs and undertaking relevant, career-based qualifications. This is so that you’re able to understand the latest professional requirements within your profession.

Look at the areas which you excel in and those where you feel less confident. Ask yourself are there specific areas you tend to struggle with.  If you have an area of expertise that you can share with others, gain visibility by starting a blog about it or hosting an internal peer-based workshop.

If you are having problems in certain aspects of your role, there’s no better time than the present to correct this. Not only will you find your current role easier if you’re able to fix issues you may previously have needed help on, but you’ll be building upon your own personal value for other companies when you want to change jobs.

Be open to networking

This might have been tricky to execute in the Covid-19 landscape which has dominated for the past year, but now is the time to keep an eye out for physical events as the Government road map unfurls. In the meantime, compile a calendar of virtual meetups, events and conferences and be sure to sign up to attend if they will help to build knowledge and understanding around your career.

Networking both inside and outside your organisation is worth taking the time to do and the best time is when you’re not actively searching for a job. This affords you the head space to boost your network and find new contacts, who might well be useful to call upon when you do start to plan your next move.

Bone up on your tech

With interviews, onboarding and training increasingly being conducted via video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Odro, make sure that you are familiar with and have the necessary technical equipment and apps downloaded and are ready to roll. Also ensure that the device of your choosing, be it a tablet, smartphone or laptop, has a good quality camera and has undergone all of the latest software updates for optimum efficiency.

You should also make sure that you feel prepared and comfortable to face the camera and whatever questions come your way, so try sitting in front of your screen beforehand and practice your answers so that you feel confident with the overall set up.

If you’d like any more advice in relation to your CV, upcoming interviews or career path, please get in touch with the MERJE team and they’ll be more than happy to guide you every step of the way: info@merje.com