10 Important Things Not to Forget When Job Searching
Job searching can often feel like a game of multitasking. When you’re submitting multiple cover letters, resumes, and online applications into various systems, preparing for interviews, and emailing with hiring managers and recruiters, it can be hard not to let anything slip through the cracks.
If you think you’re forgetting something—you might be. But, we’ve got your back! Here are 10 important things (that you might not have even thought of) not to forget when job searching.
Keep your Google (or other email address) account up-to-date. Many email clients, such as Gmail, include a feature where you can upload a profile photo that appears next to your name. If you use this feature, be sure to use a professional headshot (vs. a portrait of you wearing the latest Snapchat filter, for example). You’ll also want to double-check that your email signature is up-to-date and professional.
Ensure any personal websites or portfolios are working and updated. If you link to anything like a personal site, portfolio, or blog anywhere on your resume, cover letter, or on your LinkedIn page, be sure these sites are accessible (e.g., sometimes web hosting or domain names can expire without you knowing) and current, reflecting your most recent (and best) accomplishments.
Does your resume match your LinkedIn? While your resume may very well be a condensed version of your LinkedIn (so that it fits on one or two pages), for positions that do show up in both places, be sure that details such as a job title, dates of employment, and key responsibilities are consistent across both platforms.
Tip: Take the time to optimize your LinkedIn profile so it showcases your accomplishments and credentials.
Be responsive. From responding to an invitation to interview, to following up an interview with a thank you note, don’t forget to be responsive. By definition, this means your responses should be prompt. Don’t let too much time lag, especially when it comes to messages that require you to take action (e.g., letting a potential employer know what days or times would work best for an interview, or sending along references or your portfolio). If too much time passes, the hiring manager may assume you’re not that interested, or may just pass you over for someone who was quick and enthusiastic in their replies.
When you’re applying to jobs that request references, ensure your references know to expect a call/email. If you’ve listed or submitted references, don’t forget to let your references know. You should also give them some information about the positions you’ve applied to—a link to the job listing, the company’s ‘About’ page, and a brief note outlining how you’ve described your experience should suffice.
Double-check your privacy settings on Facebook. On Facebook, simply hiding your tagged photos or wall posts may not be enough. Potential employers might still be able to view pages you’ve liked, or events you’ve attended or RSVP’d to—and you may not want recruiters or hiring managers to see the bar crawl or burlesque show you went to. To see how your page looks to the public, click on “View As” and you’ll see the information that’s available for anyone to see.
If your Instagram account is public, check your tagged photos. As long as your Instagram account is work-appropriate, you don’t have to keep it private. In creative professions, your Instagram feed can actually be a clever way to illustrate your personal aesthetic. However, there’s more to Instagram than just the photos you post. Be sure to check the photos you’re tagged in, which an employer could easily view from your profile. Note that anyone who’s following you can also see your comments and likes.
Beyond your current and active social accounts, are old profiles visible? You can find out by searching old usernames. If you don’t remember them, try Googling your name (ideally encased in quotes, e.g. “First Name Last Name”) and any old email addresses to see what comes up.
If you’re using a video or audio platform like Zoom or Skype, make sure your profile is professional. This includes your profile photo, associated email address, and—in the case of Skype or Zoom—your status.
If you’re doing a video interview with the camera on, also make sure your backdrop is clean and distraction-free (e.g., your potential employer does not want to see piles of dirty laundry or your cat’s litter box). You’d be surprised at how much can be visible, so be sure to log on and check before your video call starts.
Tip: Here’s everything you need to know to ace a video interview.