Much like fixing up a flat, when finding your new career path, it helps to have a bunch of tools at your disposal. Off to the toolbox (read: empty biscuit tin full of radiator keys and nails) I go, and voila – I have found a clever new metaphor for job hunting! I like to approach a job hunt much in the same way I approach DIY, this usually means a whiny email to my landlady, followed by an out of office response and the realisation that I will probably have to roll up my sleeves and deal with the problem myself.
Lucky for you this doesn’t require a trip to B&Q or a step-ladder, just a few websites and apps that’ll help supercharge your job hunt. Here’s what you’ll need:
Laying down dust sheets – aka online presence clean up
When starting a big DIY project you’ve got to prep. It’s all good and well making a bookcase from scratch, but what happens when it’s done and you’ve got wood chippings everywhere and varnish all over the floor?
In the same vein, you have to clean yourself up before your search. The job search equivalent of laying down dust sheets is a total overhaul of your online presence. Start by Googling yourself and work from there.
- Update all your privacy settings on social media so potential employers don’t see anything you don’t want them to – I’m talking deleting the raging tweets from last year berating TfL
- Put up a professional photo – obviously it’s great that you can straight arm a pint, but it doesn’t exactly scream ‘hire me’
- Get your personal website or blog out there – essentially a great opportunity to shout about your talents (aside from the straight arming) and show off how great and smart you are
- Spruce yourself up – now you’ve deleted every unfortunate picture from that regrettable weekend in Magaluf, get good stuff out there that promotes your personal brand.
o If you’re on Twitter or LinkedIn, start sharing interesting content.
o Create a TalentRocket profile – make sure you connect it to your LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram so you can show off the real you to employers
User manuals – aka career quizzes
When tackling a problem, it’s always good to know what you’re working with by referring to user manuals. In the job hunting world, these are career quizzes.
Having a career identity crisis isn’t unusual, but a great way to combat this is through an online quiz. At pymetrics , they use algorithms and neuroscience in games to find out your strengths and weaknesses, and as a result your ideal career path.
Plus a great excuse to play games free of the judgement, because it’s helping your career, as opposed to Mario Kart, which apparently is not.
Tape measure – aka employer review sites
It’s always handy to have measurements and details to know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for, and whether that desk will fit by the window. This is where Glassdoor comes in.
You’ve found your dream job and everything feels just right, but is it? Glassdoor allows you a little insight into what a company is like from people that have worked there.
It’s all good and well reading the ‘about us’ spiel on their website which undoubtedly boasts of beers on Friday, but find out what’s actually going on straight from the employees mouths.
Spirit level – aka application tracking
Hanging photos is always a chore, particularly when your eyesight isn’t 20/20 and your flat is slightly wonky. Suddenly a spirit level becomes your best friend. The job-hunting equivalent of this is a job tracking system, so you know exactly where you’re at with the search. It’s pretty simple to create your own with a little spreadsheet knowhow.
If staying on top things is your enemy then using Excel or a clever product management tool like Trello to keep on top of your applications. We even created one to help you make better career decisions!
You can start career conversations with your favourite companies by using TalentRocket or alternatively, JibberJobber is a free service that helps you with lists, CV storage, contacts, and will generally become your job-hunting PA for as long as you need it.
Putty knife – aka CV scraper
Sometimes a job is so big you just gotta start from scratch, so scrape off the proverbial paint with the job hunting equivalent of a putty knife. It’s not just putty knives that do the scraping, often robots scrape the data in your CV application to see if you’re worth interviewing.
Scary I know! With nifty online tool Resunate you can input your CV or LinkedIn profile, along with the description of your ideal job, and it strips it back to see how well matched your CV is to the role. If it turns out the answer is ‘not very’, you can chop and change what you need to so you can beat the bots and become that elusive perfect candidate.
Essentially, treat your job hunt like the biggest fixer-upper yet, because if you’re happy in a job the rest just seems to follow, including more actual DIY project than you can shake a hammer at.