Whether you’re actively looking for a new gig or just exploring your options, it can be easy for a job search to eat up all your waking hours. Spending 18 hours a day thinking about finding the next step on your career path is a sure-fire way to build stress, do worse in interviews, and burn out—plus, imagine all the TV you’re missing.
Building in breaks and self-care is crucial throughout a job search, but I get it if it feels even more stressful to go cold turkey. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for easy yet high-impact job search actions you can take while you’re watching TV.
Update your location on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the biggest tools recruiters use to search for talent. We can use LinkedIn Recruiter to filter for many different variables, including by location. If my company can only hire in a handful of states, I’m going to search only for people based in those states. If I’m looking for someone who can come into an office in NYC, I want to filter out people who live beyond a commutable distance (unless they signal that they’re open to relocation; more on this later).
If your location is still set to where you lived 6 months ago, you may be missing out on your chance to get discovered for relevant opportunities. If you’re concerned about sharing too much about where you live, it’s fine to just share your general metro area. You’ll still get picked up in searches!
Set yourself open to work on LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s Open to Work feature lets you send a variety of different signals to recruiters who might be looking at your profile, plus you can opt to hide your Open to Work status from recruiters who work at your current company. You can show how actively you’re looking for a new job, if you’re open to relocation (which gets factored into those search filters we talked about above), what job titles you’re interested in, and lots of other variables.
If you haven’t set your Open to Work status, you can do so easily from your LinkedIn profile, while simultaneously finding out who’s getting eliminated on this episode of LegoMasters. If you’re already set up, use the commercial break to double-check that the settings are what you want them to be—are you focusing more on one particular type of job now? Are you actually not interested in relocating anymore, or changed your mind about an in-office role? Keeping these up to date will help increase your odds that you’ll be discovered for the right sort of roles for you.
Double check that all your profile pictures are work appropriate
If you’re back on the job market after a few years, you may have forgotten that 6 months ago you changed the profile photo on your personal email (which you are now using to apply to jobs) to a meme or weird photo of your pet—ask me how I know. While an unusual profile photo certainly won’t make or break your candidacy, it’s better to have a regular old photo of yourself show up when emailing a thank you note. If you don’t have any recent photos you’re happy with, an old photo is fine, or you can just remove the photo altogether.
Remove outdated and/or irrelevant experience from your resume
This one can hurt a little, so it’s best to do it with the welcome distraction of a new Abbott Elementary episode. It can be surprisingly emotional to delete old jobs or internships from your resume and LinkedIn, but the reality is that retaining not-super-relevant or very old jobs (or internships) on your CV isn’t doing you any favors. It’s actually potentially distracting from a more relevant story you could be telling about your career. While it’s true that I’ve been paid as a dog walker and as a transcriptionist, those jobs aren’t immediately relevant if I’m looking for a job as a recruiter. Plus, I can still bring them up on an interview if they happen to become relevant.
This doesn’t apply quite as much for those who are established in their career or have had a linear path to their current, but if you’ve tried out a few different jobs and industries on your way to your dream job, it might be worth removing some of them that no longer apply.
Delete unnecessary details from your resume
It can be hard to keep up with the changing norms and expectations around resumes, not to mention also keeping your resume up to date with your own experiences. You probably have a few things you could stand to remove from your resume now to free up space and avoid distracting a recruiter from the most important details. Consider removing:
- Your home address (no company is sending physical mail correspondence to you about a job anymore)
- Your photo (it can introduce bias)
- Your GPA (unless you’re fresh out of college, this number is far less relevant than your actual work experience)
- Extremely specific skills that aren’t relevant to the job you want (I can tell you from experience that reading how much weight you can bench press is not helpful to assess if you would be a good software engineer, for example).
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