Well, it’s happened again. The relentless wheel of history has rolled into another season, and that’s actually a pretty positive thing because every new season is a great reason to look at what you are doing, decide what needs to change, and set some strategic goals that will get you where you want to be.
Look At What You Are Doing
It doesn’t matter if we are talking about your job search, your workplace, or the balance between your home and career. Everyone needs to look at what they are currently doing and see the good points along with the bad. Write it down and celebrate what is working for you, even if there are some scary situations you need to deal with soon.
Decide What Needs To Change
Even a small change can make a big difference in how your workday goes, and doing some updates in your LinkedIn profile or resume will be good investments that give profitable returns. Perhaps deciding that each child does one activity at a time will give everyone some margin in their lives. You don’t need to change everything (particularly if it’s working well) but changing something around is like a breath of fresh air.
Set Some Strategic Goals
Where do you want to be ten years from now? How about next year? Are there steps that can begin to get you there? Many times a career coach can help you figure out which steps will get you there, and what will be a sidetrack you regret. If you are not sure what you need to be doing now in order to reach your goals, get some advice from people who have made it to where you’d like to be. Even if you decide not to take their advice, it gives you a better idea of what is involved.
A change in the season is always fun because it’s an excuse to mix it up a little bit, but it also is an excellent reason to revamp your strategies for success.
LinkedIn is one of the most important places to have an online presence because it is currently the top networking site for professionals of many industries. This is where a potential employer will look you up to see if you are a good fit for the job opening and where many people find the connections that bring them a career. It’s a very valuable resource and worth taking the time to make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and contemporary.
If your profile is out of date or incomplete, how is being on this vital networking site doing you any good? In fact, an out of date, incomplete profile will probably be doing your career harm because it reflects badly on you. So make the investment and get that profile in shape because good things will happen as a result.
5 Ways To Start Updating Your LinkedIn Profile
- Turn off the notifications while you are editing. Nobody but you needs to know that you are updating your profile until you are ready to present it in complete perfection. Do you want to know when others are tweaking their stuff? I didn’t think so.
- Be very, very picky about your profile pic. There are plenty of professional photographers or good amateurs who can do the job and give you a polished, professional photograph for your polished, professional profile. No selfies can match that.
- Keywords are how the search engine finds you. That means your profile has to use the words you want to be found by. Put those keywords in your headline, your summary, and the various sections in a natural manner.
- Add personal details. You are a unique individual and this is one place you can show that individuality with volunteer work, publications, and more. Look at all the possible additions to your profile and consider them carefully.
- Create a custom URL that is easy to remember; it is an easy process on the right side of the page when you are editing your profile. Keep your name and lose the numbers and look like the professional you are becoming.
LinkedIn Profile Development is an ongoing process because you should be adding to your completed profile regularly as you progress in your career. It’s much easier to update a professional profile once you have done the foundation work.
Many times, someone will look at the price of having a professional resume writer develop their resume and wonder if it is worth the cost. There’s a way to put the cost of a professional resume service into perspective:
How much will it cost you to stay unemployed and searching for a job?
Say you are hoping to find a job that pays $52,000 a year to make this exercise easy. That means your pay before taxes is $1,000 because there are 52 weeks in a year. If you have been looking for a job and nobody is calling you back, your resume usually has a lot to do with that, so your current resume and job search methods have already cost you however many weeks you’ve been using them.
Now take a look at the prices of the various a la carte services or packages. Look at those prices in terms of the salary you are hoping to earn and the time you have been searching for a job — and think how improving your resume or distribution will improve your chances of finding that job. It may cost you less than one day’s worth of future salary to have your current resume critiqued and know how to improve it. It could be less than a week of your future salary to have a professional resume written.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll get hired with a professionally written resume, but you almost certainly will get called in for an interview, and the rest is up to you. It’s costing you quite a bit in lost wages to use an inferior resume that is not getting results.
Criticism is kind of painful, because nobody likes to be wrong. But without constructive criticism we’d all be in a fantasy world assuming everything is fine and wondering why things aren’t happening the way we imagined they would. Particularly when it comes to your career, criticism is a valuable tool. But that tool has to be in the hands of somebody who knows how to use it for your benefit.
A Professional Critique of Your Resume/Cover Letter Does 3 Things
- Professional Perspective — A Professional Resume/Cover Letter Critique should be just that: professional. You want someone who is going to look at your cover letter and resume with the same perspective that potential employers, recruiters, and HR people will be looking at them. After all, these are the people who you are hoping to impress with that cover letter and resume, so it makes sense to write them with that goal in mind.
- Experienced Advice — It isn’t that helpful to find out what’s wrong with your cover letter or resume if you don’t know how to fix it. A resume critique from Professional Resume Services includes concrete steps you can take to make improvements and provides insights on why these steps are suggested.
- Immediate Return on Investment — As soon as you get your critique back, it includes a plan of action that you can immediately implement to get your career search back on track. The 3-4 page report catalogs every detail that needs to be improved and how to go about that improvement.
It doesn’t cost as much as you’d spend on a big date night, but it is worth every penny. A resume/cover letter critique from Professional Resume Services will give you an understanding of the problems and a way to fix those problems, making this criticism something you’ll appreciate getting.
It happens to everybody: You make a mistake about something during your important interview. It my the way you dressed for the occasion and you went too formal or too casual. It might be addressing your interviewer by the wrong name. There are lots of ways a candidate can make a mistake, and it’s true that a mistake can possibly cost you the job. It’s also true that the way you respond to your own mistakes can be what makes the interview successful and gets you the job.
Mistakes Can Be Opportunities
Everyone makes mistakes, but those who are confident enough to admit their mistake and correct it appropriately are valuable in any workplace. If you walk into the interview without having done anything to hone your interview skills or research the company, then your mistakes will be more like learning opportunities and use the interview as a reminder to be prepared next time. But a mistake by an otherwise qualified candidate is an excellent opportunity to display how you will be on the job.
It’s helpful to remember that most interviewers will give you cues for correcting something. If you are not obsessing about being dressed too formally or whatever your mistake was, you can pick up on those cues and correct it. It shows that you are able to see past your discomfort and effectively respond to a problem.
This is a skill that everybody needs. When you get defensive and defeated about making a mistake, it’s making that mistake worse because you are amplifying and distorting it instead of seeing that mistake as another reminder that you are human like the rest of us. It’s a skill because it has to be learned, and you learn from your mistakes.
If you make a mistake in your interview, that’s an opportunity. Learn from it.
Most managers are regular employees who get promoted, but a lot of times that promotion comes with the realization you lack some managerial skills. It’s different being in management, but there are some things you can work on even as an employee that will really help you when that promotion comes.
These skills are actually good to learn no matter what your position is. For instance, a bank teller needs to “act with authority” when explaining why a check bounced — Saying “It looks like you might have not had the funds in your account; I guess maybe that’s why it bounced” with hesitation doesn’t have the same level of authority as “Your account balance was $50.00 short of the check amount when it came into the bank and you don’t have any overdraft protection set up, so an automatic process began. This is what you can do about the situation….”
If you want to be ready to move up into management, start learning what you need to know.
A Checklist of Skills to Learn
- learn how to be comfortable having difficult conversations — all managers have to be able to do this because sweeping problems under the rug doesn’t make them go away.
- learn how to give feedback the right way — tell people when they are doing a good job, and if something is wrong, say so clearly without hinting around while providing a few reasonable suggestions.
- learn how to clarify goals — ask the boss what practical benchmarks are being looked for so everyone can be on the same page. If you can’t measure it, you can’t all reach it.
- learn how to act with authority — if the decision is based on policy, say so. If you want someone to do something, don’t make it sound like an option.
- Learn how to separate relationships from work performance — sooner or later a manager has to confront a lousy employee and fire them even if that employee is a friend. This is one of the hardest things managers face.
Is Your Resume Ready?
One of the things that will be examined closely when your name comes up as a potential manager is your resume. If you aren’t confident your resume is ready for that examination, the Resume Critique can give you professional feedback and concrete suggestions for making sure you are ready for the next step in your career.
Everybody thinks about quitting occasionally… …and sometimes, quitting your job might be the best decision you make. But there’s some real downsides to quitting unprofessionally, and you need to be careful to avoid them because they will haunt your future career. These are bad ideas:
- breaking an employment contract
- venting your anger online in public forums
- raging at your boss in a final dramatic recount of all your frustration
- stealing to make up for the way they treated you
- leaving suddenly without preparing the person taking over your job
- not having money to live on while you look for another position
I sure hope you see why these are bad ideas! It’s easy to talk yourself into thinking they are good ideas, though, because your emotions get in the way when work conditions become intolerable. Every single idea has future consequences, and thinking about those consequences is a good idea. Future employers will look at your past jobs and contact past employers about your behavior. They look at what you say online. Theft is a crime and you will get caught. How’d you like to take over someone’s job who left it like you did? And money is important for bills and groceries, am I right? Here are some good ideas:
- start saving so you have at least a month or more of financial cushion
- start looking for a job without tipping off your current boss if you know it will cause problems
- start doing your current job with an eye on making it easier for your replacement (organize, write job descriptions, etc)
- update your resume with your current responsibilities and accomplishments (you figured those out in the last idea)
- acquaint yourself with your employment contract
- maintain a professional attitude on the job and off
There truly are bad situations where quitting a job is necessary. But don’t make a bad situation worse by your behavior.
There are a lot of good things offered by Professional Resume Services, and each one has been carefully selected to be a good value and a good fit for somebody. But which service will fit YOU?
It might be a bit simplistic, but you have to know what you need first. Then you should do a quick skim through the Products and Resume Services just to get an idea of what’s there so you know what we have. Then it is just a matter of putting the two together the right way.
Start With Your Current Status
You have a job history and a certain set of skills. You may even currently have a job and are hoping to get a new one, or you may have been unemployed for a while and are starting to get a little worried. Whatever is happening in your career right now, whatever has happened in the past, all of your education, volunteer work, and the rest should be written down so you have it in front of you.
Now, write down what you need and want to see happen in your career. Try to get past “I want a job to pay bills” and into “I want a career that accomplishes something,” and define what “something” is. All this brainstorming helps you clarify and assess what your current status and future goals are.
Now Look At What We Offer
Just grab a cup of whatever you like to sip and spend some time roaming around the site. Look at what the Job Search Success System is and what it does. Read through the A La Carte Services section and skim through the various packages. This gives you an overall idea of what is involved with getting a professional resume, or choosing a coaching service will be like.
While you were doing that, did you notice that popup in the lower right corner that kept bouncing up saying, “Let’s Talk!”?
That’s your next step. Now that you have an idea of where you are, where you want to be, and what we offer, it’s pretty easy to set up a time to discuss what would be a good fit for you.