Human resources professionals consider December to be a slow month as far as interviewing and hiring job candidates.  It is also a good time for those seeking employment to prepare for their job search for the coming year.  According to the online job-matching service, preparing for a job search should be the number one priority for people looking for work. 

How do you begin to prepare for your job search?

You should begin by adjusting your social media accounts so you appear to be a professional.  I understand that your social media account is ‘your zone’.  It is private and it is personal, but unfortunately it is public.  Anyone can learn more about you simply by reading your Facebook posts or by looking at your friend’s list, etc. 

Google your name then delete or rewrite anything that makes you look bad.  Doing that is called ‘reputation management’ and it’s extremely important for job seekers.  It’s not fair, I’m with you, but you have to understand that today’s world is a lot different than it was five years ago.  

Today, many recruiters will Google your name to learn more about you so they can decide whether or not to insert your name on a short list for a job.  Recruiters have to make decisions and they look for ways in which to make that decision easier. 

For example, if your Facebook page has a lot of pictures of you drinking at bars and nightclubs or otherwise behaving ‘badly’, a recruiter can quickly decide not to put you on a short list.  In the recruiter’s eyes you would be considered a risk as far as showing up to work on time or taking too many days off. 

Another way to prepare for your job search in 2013 is to write a professional resume.  Even if you’re looking for a job as a bar tender, a resume will show the hiring manager that you are serious about finding a job and that you take your future and life seriously.  According to a recent survey of hiring managers, job seekers with a resume are forty percent more likely to land a job. 

You also want to ‘look the part’.  If you’re looking for work in an office you’ll want to wear a suit and tie if you’re a man or a smart business outfit if you’re a woman.  Many companies allow employees to dress casually at the office, but for an interview you want to look as professional as possible.  

Finally, get a smartphone so you can store and retrieve important documents such as your resume or references list.  Owning a smartphone can help your job search in more ways than you think.  For example, you can check your emails periodically and quickly reply to a recruiter’s request for your resume or other documentation.  

A smartphone will also help you surf the Internet when you’re away from your computer.  You may get an email from a friend or a recruiter asking you to visit a particular website to read a job description.  Having a smartphone also shows recruiters that you are comfortable with new technology and that you are efficient at responding to requests.