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January 9, 2018 > A 7-Step New Year Career Action Plan

A 7-Step New Year Career Action Plan

Losing weight and becoming a better person are the top two New Year?s resolutions for 2018, according to a Marist College Institute for Public Opinion poll. Interestingly, this poll also found that the number of people who vow to find a better job nearly doubled this year.

It appears that many of you might be raring to fire dozens of resumes into countless job portals. It might surprise you to know that I do not encourage job-seekers to launch their resumes as their first action step. Why? Because hitting that submit button without doing the necessary prep work won?t get you to a job offer. Before you sink any time into job searches and applications, set aside time to do the work that will get your resume noticed. Since this is the start of the New Year when resolutions are fresh and resolve is strong, here is my 7-step action plan for those who hope to get a better job in 2018. I would recommend you perform all 7 steps before submitting any resumes.

Step 1
Determine the specifics of your next move. Are you seeking a lateral move or a promotion? Are you hoping to stay in the same industry or get into an entirely new sector? Answering these questions is an all-important first step that you should do before pursuing any other job search activity. Having a concrete idea of your next job will help you set the direction of your job search as well as save you time and effort.

Step 2
Go to your favorite job site and select three job ads that closely match the job you wish to have.

Step 3
Format your resume using your three job ads. Be sure to include key word and phrases.

Step 4
Ask at least two people to comment on your resume. The ideal person for a resume critique is someone with an excellent command of English, has an eye for detail, has some experience hiring people, and is willing to give you honest, quality feedback. A good resume critique takes time. Do not settle for feedback from someone who can only give your resume a quick glance.

Step 5
While revising your resume, be sure to take careful notes of the holes in your resume, i.e. any skills, credentials, education, and experience that you don?t have but would be helpful in your next job. Create a plan for how to fill in these holes. You might be able to acquire additional skills in your current position, e.g. you can fill in for your boss when he or she is on vacation. Or you could sign up for additional training and coursework. Do check your work benefits?many workplaces offer opportunities for additional training. Remember to update your resume as you upgrade your skills and training.

Step 6
Work on your LinkedIn profile using your new and improved resume as your guide. Be mindful that LinkedIn is open for employers and recruiters to view. Do not create a profile that is unprofessional, sloppy, unfocused, or disorganized. I highly recommend that you read several articles about how to create a great LinkedIn profile. Here?s my guide to get you started:

Step 7
Clean out your social media presence. Anything you post on the internet is free-for-all?a thoughtless tweet or questionable photo could cost you an interview or job offer. Employers can and do check Facebook profiles as part of their hiring practices. Before you submit any resumes, be sure to delete inappropriate photos and posts. Think of this as spring cleaning for your career.

After you have completed each of the above steps, you are finally ready to submit your resume and get that fabulous new job. My work as a career counselor is focused on helping people find happiness and satisfaction at work. I hope that many of you will find career happiness in 2018!

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