I don’t have to tell you that there is a lot of “noise” out there in social media land, and getting noticed is becoming more challenging by the day. If you are a job seeker who has just started your search, it is likely that you are already feeling overwhelmed with everything that is available to you both online and from in-person networking events. Related: The LinkedIn Profile Checklist Every Job Seeker Needs Job seekers receive all sorts of guidance including conflicting—and often contradictory--advice regarding their resumes, cover letters, and interviewing strategies. One area in which most of the counsel is fairly consistent, however, is the advice surrounding LinkedIn. The consensus is that you must have a LinkedIn profile, and it needs to be stellar to stand out from the crowd. For a lot of people, LinkedIn is an embarrassing little secret. Most professionals know about LinkedIn and have an account because they have been told that they need to have one. No one has taken the time to explain to them WHY they need an account, however. As a result, there are a lot of incomplete profiles populating LinkedIn Land. Here is what you need to know beyond all doubt: If you have been lucky enough to make it through the Applicant Tracking System and a real human being is looking at your resume, one of the first things he or she will do is take a look at your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have it ready for “prime time,” you will likely lose the opportunity to get the coveted call for an interview.
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.