Yay, it’s April. As we begin the spring season, many of us decide to do some spring cleaning. It’s like a fresh start and I enjoy fresh starts!
If your professional life can use a little TLC, you might as well do it now since you’re already in the mood for cleaning.
Social Media Profiles
Social media has many advantages. However, it can also be a disadvantage if not used wisely. Look at your social media profiles, make sure they reflect the professional brand and image you want to portray. This is extension of who you are.
Do they include your most up to date and relevant information? This includes any promotions, organizations you’ve joined or new skills you’ve learned. Think about changes that have occurred since the last time you updated them.
It’s also a great idea to evaluate your usage. Are you effectively using the various platforms to accomplish your career objectives, showcase your skills and expertise? If you’re looking for a job, remember LinkedIn is an awesome resource.
Career plans should be a living document. However, if you haven’t looked at it in a while, take some time to pull it up and review it in detail. Determine if the plan is still relevant and reflective of your career goals. Review it and document any milestones you’ve completed and re-evaluate any tasks you’ve missed.
Once your plan is updated and refreshed, laminate a copy before you file it away. Keep it posted in an area where you’ll see it often. It’s also a good idea to take a picture of it with your phone. Frequently reviewing your plan will help you stay focused and on track.
Network, network, network! As professionals we hear this all the time. What have been the results of your networking? Yes, networking is a two-way street, you should give and receive. Be sure to create value within your groups, organizations and platforms. Think about platforms where you can showcase your skills, help others as well as learn, next level your career or gain new clients. Think reciprocity!
Review your networking strategy. Are there other professional organizations that may be more helpful, are you networking enough, is it a one-way street where you are just taking and not providing value? Networking takes time, make sure its worth it to you and those you interact with.
Time passes quickly and before you know it, another year has come and gone. Have you done a good job at keeping your skills sharp or learning new skills?
Make sure your skills remain up to date. Think about skills that would make you more productive, efficient or marketable. Are there tasks you perform at work that could be done quicker or more efficient if you possessed a certain skill? What about your career plan, are there skills you need to develop to align yourself with your career plan?
Review your skills regularly and make sure you are staying current, competitive and marketable.
Okay, I know this isn’t a favorite but it’s necessary. I’ve always been told that if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. This would apply to your resume as well. You never know when an opportunity may present itself and you want to be ready.
Make sure your resume includes your latest position, skills and accomplishments. Think about professional organizations you’ve joined. Based on your career goals, are there key professional highlights that need to be included?
Lastly, take a look at the latest formats and choose one that works best for you and your situation. Also, remove outdated information such as objective statement and references upon request. There have been changes over the years that you’ll want to implement in your resume.
You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel once you’ve tidied up your professional life. Happy cleaning!
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