Happy New Year! How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? If a career change, promotion or new job is on your list of 2107 goals, here are 7 simple Career Resolutions you can accomplish by the end of the weekend:
- Convey professionalism with your emails: Every piece of communication you send out informs potential employers about some aspect of who you are. Most people know to use a personal email address when networking or in their job search, but silkybunny86 or mapleafs4ver isn’t going to help your cause! Create a professional sounding personal address that includes your actual name so responders can easily find you via type-ahead. Tip: if you can get an email address thorough your university, that can help reinforce your brand.
- Make it easy for people to contact you: There’s nothing more frustrating than to receive an email from someone and have to go searching for their phone number to call them. If the recipient is a recruiter, that might mean deciding to move on to the next candidate! So create an email signature that includes your full name, your personal brand tag line and the best phone number to reach you (usually your personal cell). Use it on every email you send out to reinforce your brand through repeated exposure.
- Create your own business card: If you are currently in transition, this is a must: it reinforces that while you may not be employed at the moment, you still have a professional identity. Even if you’re working, you may want a personal business card to use when networking for your own career. Pick a simple design that matches the look/feel of your resume and include your full name, your personal brand tag line and your personal v. work phone number and email address.
- Check your LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn will let you know what percentage of competition your current profile has; add suggested information to get as close to 100% complete as you can. Caveat: Don’t upload your resume if you are employed, as that could be a red flag that indicates to your employer that you are thinking about leaving!
- Start documenting your achievements: Create a folder on your desktop in which you can capture your paid and volunteer work related accomplishments for the year as they occur. Use a simple Situation-Actions-Results format and quantify those results achieved with metrics: $, #, %. Setting the system up is easy; the challenge is keeping it up to date, but it’s a lot easier to do it as you go v. trying to recall accomplishments later when updating your resume or preparing for an interview. Memory is the worst record keeping device!
- Update your marketing collateral: I’m not saying you can do a complete resume overhaul between now and Sunday, but at least change the document name to reflect 2107 and see if there are any 2016 accomplishments that you can write up (see above).
- Call your coach: Or mentor, networking group buddy or anyone who will light a fire under you. Start by asking how their New Year is going and how you can help them achieve their 2017 goals. Even paid service providers are more likely to go the extra mile for clients who express a genuine interest in them. Success is all about relationship and reciprocity!
Nothing creates momentum like momentum, so get out of Neutral (or Park!) and shift into 1st gear as a first step to get your career moving in the New Year. You’ll see progress as soon as you focus on the future and take strategic action. Let us know if we can help.