The first day of spring is March 20 and spring weather is already upon us. For college students, spring can mean a few things, but college students usually have one thing on their mind – jobs. While applying to jobs this spring, here are some ways you can clean up your applications and profiles to set yourself ahead of competitors.

Clean up your social media.

An often overlooked task for many students, social media appearance matters. Employers may be looking into your accounts looking for anything inappropriate or out of the ordinary. Go back in time on all of your accounts and make sure everything that is accessible is appropriate and professional. Googling yourself is a great way to catch content you might have forgotten about online.

Update your headshot

How old is your LinkedIn profile picture? Is it time for a new one? If so, make sure to get a professional headshot done right with the appropriate appearance, background and lighting. While it may not be important to do this task frequently, a new headshot can brighten your profile and allow you to feel more confident when applying to jobs.

Update your resume.

It might be time to remove high school experience from your resume. An obvious, but important, task – make sure each point on your resume is relevant to your recent experience and to the positions you are applying for this spring. Feel free to make different copies of your resume for different jobs and industries.

Update your cover letter template

Don’t have a cover letter template? Create one! While every position you apply for will have a different cover letter, you can build out a template with recurring information to speed up the process. You can even personalize the template with a branding logo or style consistent with your other application documents like your resume.

Update your portfolio website.

If you don’t have a portfolio website, now might be the time to create one. Portfolio websites offer an outlet to express yourself, show off your talent and keep your personal branding consistent. Many job applications offer a section to insert a portfolio link. You can build the website from scratch, or use a software company such as Wix.com or GoDaddy.

Job applications can be stressful, but updating your application pieces and cleaning up your profiles with a few simple steps can help you feel more confident in applying to roles you love. As Michelle Obama once said, “Your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude.” Good luck and happy job hunting!

Olivia Strauss is a junior studying journalism-strategic communication with a minor in marketing and a social media certificate. She is the Vice President of Social Affairs for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter here and on LinkedIn here.

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