Give Your Career a Boost in 2012
The new year is a perfect time to reflect on your professional development over the past 12 months so that you can prioritize your career goals for the next 12 months. Whether that self-assessment leads you to search for a new job or to map out a strategy for advancement with your current employer, take this opportunity to consider how you'll put a plan in motion.
No matter if you're a job-seeker, someone looking to take on more responsibility with your current employer or a professional considering a switch to a new industry, here are the steps to take to help upgrade your career outlook for 2012.
Embarking on a New Job Search
If you've decided to reboot your career by jumping ship, these three tips will help you kick-off a job search right now:
1. Refresh your resume. A resume isn't something you can write and tuck away for safekeeping anymore. It's your main marketing tool when it comes to job hunting. Read over your resume to be sure that it reflects the career direction you're interested in and that your main bullet points bring out the strengths of your experience. Substitute real stories for a list of tasks and duties. Also, make sure your resume is representative of a living, breathing person a recruiter will want to hire.
2. Research employers. Even if you decide not to officially put your hat in the ring until after January 1, you can still do some background research on potential employers in the coming weeks. A helpful tool is LinkedIn.com's company database, which lets you look up information such as the number of current employees and new hires a business has, as well as who on staff does work similar to your own. Another smart thing to do is sign up for Google Alerts on the companies you’re interested in to help you keep track of big company announcements and industry news.
3. Mobilize your network. If your friends don't know that you're preparing to job hunt, they should. Send an e-mail blast (be sure to blind copy everyone) letting them know what you're up to and what sorts of roles you'd be interested in. In your e-mail, be sure to leave an open invitation for some one-on-one networking via a coffee or lunch. For those who are a bit more social, attend a professional networking event. At this time of year, many industry associations are hosting annual holiday parties, a good opportunity to make new professional contacts.