As the record-breaking cold weather of this past winter finally gives way to spring, many of us are welcoming the new season with some annual spring cleaning. However, while spring cleaning your home may be productive, have you ever considered giving your career its own seasonal touch-up?
It can always be helpful to take the occasional step back from your goals and assess your progress. We’ve published several articles on improving your career, a number of which can be applied to giving it a thorough spring cleaning. If you’re looking to spruce up your career this season, use some of your typical home cleaning tactics as a model and get to work by…
De-cluttering your resume
Whether you’re currently employed or looking for your next step, it’s important to keep your resume updated with your most recent and relevant information at all times. Every now and then, it can be helpful to return to it and add to, or alter, a few sections. However, while the idea that you must keep your resume strictly to one page at all costs is actually a common myth, it is important to keep your bullet points brief and concise. In our post titled “5 Steps to Reducing Resume Clutter,” we give you a few ways to cut down on the excess and make your best qualities shine through.
Dusting off your interview skills
Like your resume, interviewing skills should never be left to rust—regardless of your employment status. You never know when you’ll have to go on one, and even if you have been happily employed for some time, there is always some value to be taken away from informational interviews. This spring, take some time to bring your interview prowess up to date and maybe even try a few practice interviews with a friend or colleague. If it’s been a while since your last interview, it could be especially helpful to read up on the tricky questions making their way into today’s less-than-traditional interviews.
Organizing your contacts for better networking
While it’s always nice to let communication happen organically, sometimes it’s not very effective. It’s important to keep up with your contacts throughout your career in order to build informative, mutually beneficial professional relationships, and one of the best ways to do so is to stay organized. Organizing your contacts into an Excel spreadsheet, for example, can help you log such things as contact information, date of last contact, etc. to ensure you never let too much time pass in-between connections.
Polishing up your skills
When was the last time you improved a skill? It can be easy to withdraw during the cold winter months and fall off our goals, but don’t let that habit continue through spring! Whether you could use some brushing up on your Excel skills or something less tangible like communication, consider focusing some effort into improving at least one skill this season. Some great ways to do so include taking a class, attending a webinar, or even practicing your chosen skill with knowledgeable peers. In our post titled “The Most In-Demand Administrative Skills of 2014,” we talk about highly valued skills in the Office Support setting—but if you’re looking to develop some new competencies, many of these can be applied in other industries, as well.
Sprucing up your online presence
It’s no secret that more and more hiring managers and recruiters are factoring your online presence into their overall image of you as a professional. This is where developing a neat, professional profile on LinkedIn is especially important; not only does it give you more visibility when recruiters search for talent online, it gives you a forum on which you can craft your very own personal brand. Aside from LinkedIn, finding creative ways to utilize other social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be helpful—so much so that we wrote an entire series of posts on them!
What are some ways you plan on improving your job search and/or career? If you’re looking for further tips on tidying up your goals, take a look at our numerous resume & interview tips. Happy spring!