As we turn the calendar from winter to spring, your closets aren’t the only things that could use a dose of spring-cleaning. It’s a great time to dust off your career. Whether you are actively looking for a new job or willing to jump if the right opportunity comes along, use this season as an occasion to make yourself a better job candidate.
A great place to start is by taking a look at where you are professionally. Is this what you want to be doing? Are you earning enough to live the way you want and save for the future? Most importantly, does your work fulfill you?
If not, take a step in the direction that you want to go in. What’s your passion? What’s holding you back? Keep yourself open about different careers that might satisfy you. You never know what you can learn by taking on new responsibilities at your current position that will challenge you. We grow the most when we are challenged and out of our comfort zone.
Next, it’s time to update that resume. Hiring managers will spend time on a single resume anywhere from 6 to 10 seconds. That’s not a lot of time to make a first impression. Make sure every bullet point counts. Use strong active verbs that demonstrate results instead of “strong team player” or “possess organizational skills”. Use examples of how your organizational skills solved a problem or created positive results. Back it up with numbers to document your performance.
We all know how quickly the web moves, so there’s no excuse for a musty and outdated LinkedIn profile, like the sweater in your closet that you haven’t worn since 2011. In addition to making sure your profile is as up-to-date as your resume, you also want recruiters to be able to find you when they do keyword searches.
Start to curate your work. When you’ve got a great file of work you’ve produced and are proud of it, it’s like writing your resume as you go. There are countless places for you to store your work in the cloud.
Although social networking has made it easier to know what’s going on with professional colleagues, nurturing those relationships requires active effort not passive online stalking. Take the time to reconnect with your contacts, not because you’re seeking out a specific facor, but simply to let them know you still value them.
Send a no strings attached note to say hello and see how they’re doing. The simple touch base takes very little of your time or effort. But it keeps the lines of communication open if you need, say an introduction to a hiring manager or want some career advice down the road. Need more advice? Reach out to us and we can help!