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Spring cleaning isn’t something regulated to the season in its name. You can spring clean whenever you feel the need to declutter or purge. It isn’t an activity you only do with your living space or office desk; you can spring clean your life, including your career.
Consider spring cleaning your career like hitting the reset button. Once you do your periodic “clean,” you’ll be more organized and able to focus. This can help you be more productive and help you navigate your professional journey, and quickly achieve your career goals.
1. Update Your Resume
If the last time you updated your resume was five years ago, before you were hired for your current job, then it’s time to update your resume. You can add new roles and responsibilities you’ve taken on in your current position and add any new certifications and achievements.
Once you’ve updated your resume, delete the old one, so you don’t accidentally send an outdated version when applying for your next job. If your interests have changed since your last resume, ensure the current version reflects those interests. While updating your resume, you may want to update the versions you’ve uploaded to various job search platforms.
2. Declutter Your Inbox
Your inbox can develop a life of its own if you let it. You may be one of those people that hold on to emails “just in case” they may come in handy later, but if that email’s been sitting in your inbox for over a year, it may be time to let it go, or at least file it somewhere.
As you go through your inbox, if many emails have been left unread from a sender, it may be time to consider unsubscribing or adjusting the frequency you receive emails from that sender. You may consider creating folders for your inbox to organize your emails and make accessing old emails easier.
You may be able to set up your inbox to direct emails from specific senders to a particular folder, which is another excellent way to organize your inbox. If you have many newsletters you’ve subscribed to, you might be interested in learning about the best newsletter reader apps to declutter your inbox today.
You may have already heard that your online reputation can influence HR hiring decisions, so now may be a good time to do a spring clean of your social media profiles. One of the first things you may want to do is review your privacy settings since “Public” is the default setting for most platforms.
If you have any inappropriate content or photos, you should delete them. If there are posts that you’re not sure about, delete them to be safe. You want to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is professional, and you should be conscious of the content you post on Twitter, Facebook, and your blog.
While the content you post on Facebook and Twitter might not be business-related, you want to avoid sharing things that may be considered inflammatory for any reason. Updating your social media profiles is more than simply editing your profile picture.
On LinkedIn, you can update your skills and accomplishments for potential employers to view. While updating your profile, you may be interested in learning about the overused buzzwords you should remove from your LinkedIn profile.
4. Check in With Your Network
You may have experienced that awkward feeling when you call someone you haven’t spoken with in a while, and you’re going to ask them for a favor. Whether you’re the one asking, or the one who was asked, it can be an uncomfortable situation.
The good news is that you can avoid that by checking in with former bosses, colleagues, and old references regularly. You can send an email asking them how their family is doing or if they have any upcoming travel plans.
If it’s been a long time, and an email won’t do, you can always extend coffee or lunch invitations to catch up in more detail. If you’re looking for job opportunities and unsure how to approach asking, you may be interested in learning tips to let more people know you’re open to work.
5. Expand Your Network
Growing your network is critical to making valuable connections and staying current on what’s happening in your industry, including new job opportunities. You can expand your network by attending networking events, conferences, and seminars.
You can search online to find industry events you’re interested in and commit to attending some of them. You can ask your manager or supervisor if they have any suggestions about industry events you would benefit from attending.
You may even want to explore networking events related to your interests or hobbies outside of your industry. Industry events aren’t the only way to find career opportunities; you never know who can point you in the right direction. You may be interested in learning some networking tips for career advancement.
6. Update Your Interview Wardrobe
The last thing you want to happen is to get called for an interview for your dream job and discover your go-to suit doesn’t fit right. You want to be ready for your next interview, and that may mean going through your professional wardrobe and updating some items.
Some items may need a dry clean, and others may need to be purged. It’s always best to plan ahead. You never know when you may get a call from someone you met at a networking event who wants to introduce you to someone hiring for a position you’d be perfect for.
Job interviews can be stressful regardless of the position you’re interviewing for. You don’t want what you wear to be one more thing to worry about. If you’re looking to brush up on your interview skills, you may be interested in learning how to improve at job interviews even while you’re employed.
Spring Clean Your Career for Success
If you haven’t done some of the activities on this list for a while, you don’t have to wait until next spring to do them! “Spring cleaning” can be done in winter, summer, or fall; you don’t have to wait for a particular time to do it.
Whether giving your resume a refresh or reaching out to colleagues you haven’t spoken with in a while, there’s no time like the present to get started. The sooner you get started, the faster you’ll be able to reap the rewards of getting organized and focused on your career.