Now that it’s officially spring, you might be thinking about doing some spring cleaning. And while this typically includes cleaning your house, you might also be well served to think about cleaning your career. Just as you have an annual physical checkup, you can also do an annual career checkup to take a hard look at how your career is faring.
Here are seven ways to begin the process of spring cleaning your career:
Update Your Resume
All professionals should have an up-to-date resume. This way they are ready to take advantage of any opportunities that might come their way.
Here are some specifics in terms of spring cleaning that resume:
Only go back 10-15 years with your work history. Many resumes are too lengthy and cluttered because job seekers keep older information on their resumes that is no longer relevant. Going back 20 or 30 years with your work history is unnecessary and potentially exposes you to age discrimination.
Spend more space on your most recent positions and trim the descriptions of your older jobs. Job seekers should really highlight what they have done most recently and summarize more briefly what they did in the past.
Prune Your Online Presence
Google yourself. Since almost all companies are now using social media to source and vet candidates, professionals need to know how they are being perceived online. They should periodically Google themselves to see what comes up. If there is any information that could be perceived negatively, they should remove that information if at all possible. For example, a friend may have posted a picture on Facebook of you drinking, and you were tagged in the picture. You should remove the tag, and if possible, remove the picture so that that type of information does not appear when a potential employer searches for your name online.
Update your LinkedIn profile. It’s not sufficient to remove potentially harmful information about you on the Internet. You also need to take the steps to provide positive information about you on the Internet. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and that it is compelling enough to motivate employers to call you.
Do a Self Evaluation
Here are some thought questions to help you identify what you may need to change this year in order to grow your career.
Are your skills limited? If you have a very narrow skill set, your career options are also narrow. You should invest in yourself and obtain any certifications that would make you appealing to employers. This will keep you from being stuck in neutral.
Have you restricted your visibility to just your organization? Professionals who want to be viewed as experts in their fields can demonstrate their expertise by presenting at professional association meetings and getting published in professional journals and/or the general media. Presenting at professional association meetings, being published in professional journals or being quoted in the media speaks volumes about your level of expertise.
Have you become pigeonholed into one area? Cross train so that you can perform more than one function if necessary. You make yourself more valuable if you are flexible and can do more than one job. Being knowledgeable of more than one functional area also positions you to take on greater responsibility within the organization.
*Just as you would go to a professional to make sure you don’t miss anything with your health, a career professional can ensure that you don’t miss anything vital related to your career. Call 877-743-9521 today to get a professional opinion about the state of your career.