It is never to late to step back and make adjustments to the next step of your career. Just this past week I talked to people who just found out they were loosing their jobs because the company filed for bankruptcy or the new job they took a year ago was just eliminated. In this new “information economy” (David Perry) we find that events happen almost as fast as the speed of “Twitter.” Sadly, few people are planning for that next job yet.
In the last 18 months, report after report has come out and told us the era of working in a job 5-8 years is over. This new economy is creating jobs that are about 18-30 months in length. That means once you start working, you better be looking for your next position, or at least planning for it.
Even more challenging for people, the rules for job hunting have changed in ways most never saw coming.
When we started this series about a new way to handle “New Year’s Resolutions,” it began with focusing on creating real goals for yourself. Now we have reached the last step in the series – updating your career. I will warn you, without making the career updates, you will not hit your long-term goals.
You are probably already asking - “What should I do to update my career?”
- Update your Cover Letter and Resume. By doing that now, you will be ready for when someone asks for it. Ask yourself how your resume will stand out from the crowd and not get lost in the piles of other resumes. Do something different. Using Guerrilla Marketing tactics – make yourself a Guerrilla Resume and matching cover letter.
- Target the companies you want to work for in the future. This will allow you to start developing your skills for that position you really want. You will start learning what their objectives are, what they will need to meet future plans, and shoring up your training and background so that you will be able to market yourself effectively when the time comes. We call this starting your job search with clarity.
- Update Your LinkedIn profile. This free online business profile is not only great for building your network to increase business, you will also find leads into the companies you target. It is also a tool that recruiters and HR professional use to search for and weed through potential candidates. Just be sure you spend quality time developing yours to equal the brand you have created for yourself. Want to connect with me on my LinkedIn and my 14,500,000 connections? Click here!
- Get an About.Me profile. This new addition to the social media arena allows you develop your personal brand even more. One of the best parts about it is how it links together all your social media (blogs, Twitter, and more) with your LinkedIn and what additional items you want to attach to it. You can also style your page to tell about more about who you are – not just another resume posting. These accounts are free. You can check mine out at here.
- Update your references. This is just as important is updating your resume. You need references ready, and not just any reference. You want these plotted well in advance. Have you talked to them about what your goals are, do they know your strengths? Can they share what your brand is with others? Be sure to glean from those on your LinkedIn.
- Refine/Revise your brand. You are more than just skills and numbers – be sure to let you come through. Your personality, all your learning and experience, all your passions, that is what makes you the amazing asset you are. That is what sets you apart from everyone else. Are you clearly communicating with others who you are? If you are not, you better work on that.
- Social Media. It is much harder to find out who is hiring and kick in that door than it is for them to just reach out and find you. This is why tools like About.Me and LinkedIn are so critical. It does not stop there. Do you have a twitter account? Are you using it wisely to share information that improves your personal brand (and not just passing along information that does not apply). What about a blog? Are you sharing what you know with the rest of the world? There are lots of social medial tools you can tap into. Those tools are important. Because they are also tied to your name – you now create a “Force Multiplier” so that when people use Google or Bing to look for candidates, your name pops up all over.
- Professional Development. Be sure you are taking as many seminars, webinars, and other tools to keep your skills and learning sharp. You need to be in a frame of mind that allows you to be learning and adaptive. This is what the new “information economy” is demanding of its employees.
In the current economy, the avg length of a job hunt to land a job – nearly 36 weeks. That’s 9 months. What makes it more complex is how the Wall Street Journal says – for each job opening, there are 4.7 people unemployed looking for a job. You cannot afford to wait. Your career needs to you be a Boy Scout – Be Prepared.
You need to keep watching my blog. There will be an important announcement in a few weeks that will be an amazing tool to those who really want to go ’ape” and take their career updates to the next level. It works for people who are employed, under-employed and unemployed.
Want a hint? It is a program developed by David Perry (co-author of Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0) and Kevin Donlin (co-founder of Guerrilla Resumes and Guerrilla Job Search International).
© 2010; Wayne Eells, Jr.