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There's a lot to keep straight when you're looking for a job. Things you need to put on your resume or else. How to build your brand so that you don't seem hopelessly out of date. The nuances of interview questions you're likely to face when you get through the door. And because you're human, you might be forgetting some painfully obvious things that need to be checked off as well. Let's look at some of the most commonly forgotten job search to-dos.
1. Go offline sometimes.
Yes, most companies have some form of online application submission these days. Yes, you want to maximize your resume and cover letter for the keyword bots. But don't make those your entire focus. We can get so mired in the online application machine that we forget to look up and see what else might be available. Don't forget to work your network to see if they know of any openings, or reach out to recruiters to see what they may have as well.
2. It's okay to let your personality shine.
As a rule, it's good to be a little wary of your full everyday self—warts and all—becoming part of the job search process. You want to be evaluated on your professional merits, not your Facebook timeline. But don't be afraid to make (appropriate) jokes in an interview, or show some personality in a cover letter. Your interviewers and readers are people too, and they would appreciate getting to see who you are, in addition to the points on your resume.
3. Tailor your resume for the specific job.
Going back to the online application engines, it can be easy to forget that you're not just uploading a PDF to a portal. You're not just a jumble of keywords; you're trying to show that you're a great and obvious fit for the job opening. That means taking the specific job description and making sure your application materials line up with it. If the hiring manager has to work to make a connection between you and the job, that usually means a fast track to the “no thanks” pile.
4. Treat your LinkedIn profile as a living resume.
Let's face it: anyone who's thinking of bringing you in for an interview is also likely to do a little internet sleuthing. And one of the first internet stops is likely to be your LinkedIn profile. That means you need to invest in your profile's upkeep. Make sure it at least matches your current resume, but don't hesitate to add things as they come up so that anyone who's looking for you can see that you're not only evolving all the time, you're also on it with your online presence.
5. Manners always matter.
Sure, sending a handwritten thank you note on fancy paper has fallen out of favor in our fast-paced, everything-digital-always society. That doesn't mean you're off the hook for basic courtesy like thank you notes.
Again, there's a lot going on in your job search, but if you pay attention to some of the smaller details along the way, you're increasing your chances of success.
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