Many people wait until they need a job (or a job opportunity is brought to their attention) before they get their resumes in order. But if you wait until you absolutely need your resume, then you may already be too late. Related: 5 Things To Fix Before Your Resume Leaves Your Desk In reality, you never know when you’ll need a job, or when a job opportunity will present itself. If you’re given notice today, will you be ready to start your job search immediately? If a friend mentions an opening at your dream employer, will you be ready to submit your resume? If a legal recruiter calls, could you e-mail her your resume today? If you’re not ready to move, rest assured your competition for these opportunities is ready, willing, and able. While you spend the next week or two getting your resume together, someone else is submitting hers. One of the most simplest and most important tactics you can implement in your job search and career development is to be ready. Invest the time to create a thorough long-form resume, as well as a short-form version. In the long-form resume, you’ll have every bit of information; it’s more like a CV. The point of the long-form resume is to gather all information you might need in one place, so that you can use it as a basis for creating shorter, targeted resumes aimed at particular opportunities. You can also use the long-form resume to help refresh your memory before job interviews. After you’ve created the long-form resume, edit it down and revise it to create a targeted short form resume. Keep that general short form resume handy. Keep your long-form and short-form resumes updated—calendar a tickler to check your resumes every quarter and to update them as necessary. While you’re at it, update your writing sample selection (without violating attorney-client privilege or other confidentiality concerns, of course) and double-check you’re on-target with your long-term career goals. As you review your materials, consider your overall career development. Are there technical skills you need to improve on, experiences to gain that would increase employer interest, or other ways to advance your career? Is it time to finally write that article you’ve been putting off? Time to defend a deposition on your own? Having your resume ready before you need a job means you’ll be able to act quickly when opportunities come your way.
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.