Being aggressive in your job search

fits of updating your profile

Any CV or resume can be considered a work in progress, and updating your profile is very important. We make a point of telling people to target their CVs to specific job ads and job criteria, and one of the reasons for this is that no two jobs are really the same. Job criteria, even for very similar jobs, can be quite different because of additional roles or organizational differences.

The same applies to your profile, whether it's on a posted resume, a social site, or anywhere you put your face to a profile. If you look at one of your old profiles, it will look like a museum exhibit, or an old school photo. Out-of-date profiles offer just historical information, and are useless as a reference.

Out-of-date profiles are not useful as any sort of job hunting tool, either. People looking at an old profile could be forgiven for thinking you'd been put in storage for that year or so, because there's nothing new on it. A prospective employer will only see a lack of current information, and move on. You may actually get friends asking what happened to you.

Like the notorious One Size Fits All CV, (which usually means it's an equally bad fit for everything), the old profile is a problem in progress. Do you read last year's news to get current information? No. So why would anyone read your out-dated profile to find out what you're doing right now? It also conveys laziness, if you're seriously trying to use your profile to get jobs. Does someone with no current news sound interesting?

Another point here is that the static profile is also inaccurate. Unless you're in suspended animation, you've been doing something. That may well be relevant to an employer or someone looking for a contractor. Say you've got all the qualifications, and the current experience, and your recent news includes doing some volunteer work for a charity, or something interesting in a sport or job sideline. That stands out to people searching profiles, and they get much more interested than they would in a dry set of references to your previous job which, let's face it, can only tell them so much.

Nobody lives static lives. Recent attention-grabbing info is what needs to be on your profile, along with the basic information about your qualifications. Even just getting your personality across in a profile can get you noticed.

This is a basic marketing principle. The exceptions are always noticed first. In a hundred apples, the lone orange will get instant recognition. The anonymous, boring and mundane are ignored. So when you update your profile and put some more life into it, you're doing more to get attention.

There's another basic principle involved. Many people get jobs not because they're any better at those jobs than other applicants, but because they present better. This is a fundamental social skill, and your profile, as your de facto self online or wherever, has to work on the same basic approach.

Do yourself a favor, and update your profile.