This morning I met with a client who confided in me that she is not “used to boasting about herself” in her resume, and that this entire exercise was very difficult for her. Then she laughed uncomfortably. Too often, this is the case when people sit down to work on their most important career document. They DON’T feel comfortable about “boasting” about themselves. And that’s exactly the problem. They shouldn’t be boasting. Instead, they should be telling stories where they are the starring character. If done correctly, these stories aren’t all about boasting. You are just telling a story that shows how you delivered results to the company. Take people down the road of how you got to those results. And make it an interesting story along the way. People remember stories, not laundry lists of accomplishments. Remember: The top thing on every human resource / hiring manager, recruiter, headhunter, or decision maker’s mind is “So what?” – you have to answer the question to make yourself stand out from other candidates. They don’t care as much about what you did; they want to know how you helped the company and what the end results were. Think about it this way: the hiring side of the equation is like a blank screen of a television, with the channel off the air. You know that annoying static fuzzy sound? It’s all noise, and there’s no rhyme or reason of what someone is seeing. Now if you start to add color to it, and start building shapes, and constructing a story, well, now you have a compelling reason to keep the viewer (read: human resource manager) glued to the screen to see how the story ends. So, get over the uncomfortableness of talking about yourself. Instead, focus on the story of what the plot lines were, what challenges were posed by the lead character (you) and how you were able to solve them. Now you’ll be cooking with gas, and you’ll have a much better reception from the human resource viewpoint, who are hungry for people to give them what they are craving! Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Everyone has heard of New Year's resolutions. You know, those promises we make to ourselves about things we'll do better in the year ahead. Sometimes these resolutions work, while other times we end up with gym memberships we never use! But have you ever heard of a career resolution? It's actually the same thing as a New Year's resolution, only career-focused.
However, with something as important as a career, you don't want to break these resolutions. That's why it's important to keep these goals manageable.
Here are four simple career resolutions that are easy to stick to and achieve.
Be Self-Aware Of Where You Stand In Your CareerBigstock
Being honest and self-aware of where you are in your career is the most important step in making strong career resolutions. If your career is going nowhere and you're unhappy, then it may be time to consider a career change, which will take you down a different path entirely.
But if you're happy and in good standing with your career, it's a lot easier to set goals for the year and build out a long-term career plan.
Find A Way To Grow Your CareerBigstock
Career growth is a very broad spectrum that means something different to everyone. It could be something as simple as improving on a weakness or building on a strength. It could also be learning a new skill or taking on additional responsibilities at work.
On a larger level, it could be seeking a promotion or moving into a leadership role.
Whatever the goal is, make sure it includes growing professionally. The worst thing you can do is stay the same! If you're not growing your career, you're dying—and becoming a lot less valuable to your employer. There are always ways to upskill!
Better Serve Your Professional Network
With current colleagues, former colleagues, and other professional acquaintances, you've probably built a solid professional network through the years. A strong professional network can come in handy if you lose your job or are looking to make a career change. However, you shouldn't just rely on your network when you're in need!
It's important to find ways to offer value to your network. This could include checking in with members of your network from time to time. Exchange messages on LinkedIn to see how they're doing or share relevant content of interest. If you can help someone in your network going through a career challenge, you should!
Maintaining a strong professional network is like an investment. If you want it to pay off, you have to put some time into it and be consistent.
Take Care Of Yourself
Working on your career is hard work! It's okay to be selfish sometimes. Whether you're working to grow your career or looking for a new job, it's important to find balance.
Your family and health always come first, so make sure your career goals don't interfere with that. If you want to set aside time during the week to work on your career that's fine, but don't miss important family events or milestones.
Don't let your career goals get in the way of your health goals. Go to the gym, take a walk, or go for a jog. Balance is key to maintaining healthy career and life goals. Sometimes you just need to adjust that balance as you go.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.