It’s finally spring, and that means it's time for growth and new opportunities. For job seekers, it's also a good time to refresh your job search strategies by revisiting key tools like your resume, social profiles and your interview approach.
Finding a new job can seem daunting at times. Applying, interviewing and showing your best self throughout the whole process is stressful, especially if you're not seeing results or getting feedback from hiring managers.
Our advice? Stay positive—and check down on the key items below to spring clean your job search and nail your next interview.
1.) Update your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is a great tool for employers, but it's also where you can showcase your experience and skills. It’s an integral piece of your personal brand. Hiring managers check your LinkedIn profile to see if it mirrors the information on your resume. They also look at your appearance (e.g. your photo), and search for additional clues like your groups, volunteer work, and status updates to understand who you are as a person and a professional.
Take the time to spruce up your LinkedIn profile and make sure your information, especially your bio, latest projects, and profile picture are up-to-date.
2.) Spruce up your resume
It may seem obvious, but a resume with even one small error can be a deal breaker for hiring managers. Simple mistakes can hurt your chances of landing a job. Make sure to re-read your resume out loud to ensure it flows well, and have a trusted friend/colleague or recruiter review it and give feedback.
It’s important to tailor your resume to the position you’re applying for by highlighting the applicable experience you have to the new role. Cut out any information that may be irrelevant like your hobbies or grade point average from high school.
3.) Showcase your continuing education
Lifelong learners stand out in a crowded job market, and showcasing your continuing education is a great way to differentiate from others. A commitment to improve your soft skills, for example, by taking a communications course or by joining a Toastmaster's group shows initiative that hiring managers appreciate.
In health IT, adding new certifications, staying current with the latest versions of enterprise software, or even exploring new fields, like AI, are steps that show intellectual curiosity and a willingness to keep your skills up-to-date. Make sure you add any new coursework or continuing ed to your resume, and don't be shy about telling interviewers how these courses help make you a better employee.
4.) Write a stand-out cover letter
A cover letter may not be required for most online job applications, but a brief, engaging cover note or intro email can help you stand out by highlighting details in your resume that you don't want an employer to miss.
A cover letter is the first glimpse an interviewer has into who you are as a person, your voice, your attention to detail, and how the experience listed on your resume will pertain to your new role. In your letter, you can explain your recent projects, how you can help the company with your skills, and show that you’ve extensively researched the company’s mission statement and values.
5.) Shine during the phone interview
Phone interviews are integral during the hiring process. It’s the first time the interviewers can bridge the gap between your resume and the real you. Here are some quick tips to succeed in phone interviews:
- Smile while you talk! Even though they aren’t able to see you, a smile comes through in your voice.
- Make sure you’re in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. Things like dogs barking, construction noises, or even the background noise of a coffee shop can be distracting to the interviewer. Make sure your phone is charged and that you have good reception as well.
- Give a little extra time between your interviewer’s question and your response. Since body language is out of the question during phone interviews, it’s important to give an extra second or two in between questions and responses to make sure you aren’t interrupting the interviewer mid-thought. It will avoid the awkward “go ahead, no you go ahead” scenario.
6.) Close the deal
You’re up-to-date with your certifications, you spent hours perfecting your cover letter and resume, and the interview itself went flawlessly — now what? These final three steps are crucial to ensuring the job is yours:
- Ask for the next steps in the interview process. This is important because it shows you’re eager to continue in the right direction and get the ball rolling.
- Genuinely thank them for their time and the opportunity. Showing gratitude will go a long way.
- Send a follow up thank you email by the next day. Show your excitement for the position, and thank them again for their consideration. If it comes down to you and another candidate, the one who sends the follow-up email will stand out that more and could be the deciding factor in who receives the offer.
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the leading candidate for your desired role. We hope you land the job of your dreams this spring.