It’s the start of a new year. What’s on your list of resolutions? We suggest you add keeping your resume up to date at all times. Here’s why and how!
The beginning of a new year is a great time to assess the past and plan changes for your future. Typical resolutions can include anything from new places to see, people to meet, achieving items on your bucket list, personal targets, and career goals. What most fall short of in achieving those goals, is the planning and preparation necessary to get there. Too many times clients call demanding a quick turn around on a resume that has not been updated in years, to apply for an unexpected job opportunity or for a position they’ve been wanting and at the last minute noticed the posting. Really?
If you are planning on making changes in your career this year then here is some advice:
- Determine your goals. Write down your goals for the year, then under each goal brainstorm what needs to be done to achieve those goals. Most times those activities need to be broken down even further into a step-by-step process. Laying it all out is just one of the first steps in planning, but it’s an essential step that will help you understand all the intricacies needed to succeed.
- Set a timeline. Pull out your calendar, set start and completion dates, and don’t forget to include the steps in between. Be realistic about the timing and resources (like time, people, money, technology, research) needed to achieve each step. Make sure you check in every couple of weeks to track your progress.
- Be proactive. Dust that old resume off and start adding the additional information missing. Once the information is all together you have a better chance of focusing your efforts on condensing it, making it relevant, and targeted to your job search.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help. Most people throw together a resume and think that’s okay! Well, it most definitely is not. Remember this is YOUR first impression to a potential employer. Not only is the content important, but a tasteful presentation without any grammar, spelling, formatting inconsistencies or mistakes is a must. Again, it’s your first impression so it’s in your best interest to make it not just okay, but GREAT!
- Start using your network. Proven to be the quickest way to find your next position, networking allows you to follow up on applications, connect one-on-one with potential employers, get references from peers, and uncover untapped opportunities. Get your LinkedIn profile done and start connecting with peers, managers, old colleagues, classmates, groups, and more.
- Take those courses/training you’ve been wanted to take for a while. It’s another great way to improve yourself, your skills, stay up-to-date on current trends, and keep moving forward.
- Prepare to market yourself. Is your elevator pitch ready? Have you brainstormed what makes you tick? Which skills you do best? What are you passionate about? What about references? Are they lined up to attest to your skills, expertise, and work ethics?
This is just the beginning, but a good start to achieving your career goals, whether it’s for a new resolution or at any time in your life. As Steve Maraboli says: “When you establish a destination by defining what you want, then take physical action by making choices that move you towards that destination, the possibility for success is limitless and arrival at the destination is inevitable.”