With the freshness of the New Year still upon us, we would like to take advantage of this spirit of newness to suggest some critical career tips.
If you would like to switch jobs, update your CV and do so from the top. Carefully update your CV and crystallise all important details at the very beginning of your resume. What achievements did you attain in your previous/current job year? Let the hiring manager see your achievements within the first three seconds of looking at your CV.
Michelle Armer, Chief People Officer at CareerBuilder, a job website, also advises that it is critical to highlight your soft skills such as collaborative and team work because often, employers will give equal or more weight to soft skills like your ability to work well with a team or think critically.
Again, quit the habit of applying for random jobs, trainings or courses. A key career tip this year, especially to ensure that you are streamlining your career and building certain skill sets is being deliberate about the roles, trainings and professional courses you apply for or take up.
While on paper, the idea that you have taken 15 courses in word-processing might seem cool, in reality, you will be competing for the same job with someone who has 15 different certifications.
So just accumulating some ‘dumb’ papers?
You should think through your time investment. Constantly update your skills to match the changes and remain relevant.
Once you understand the specific direction you would like your career to grow towards, polish up your tools.
Ensure that all your social media platforms (specifically LinkedIn) clearly showcase your skills. This is not just about looking for a job, it also speaks into the kind of networks you would like to attract. After that, reach out to the people within your networks who might have connections to the organisations that you are targeting, people you’d want to be your mentors and ask for linkages and introductions.
At the end of the day, opportunities usually travel through a network and if you are not within networks, you easily miss opportunities where you’d be a top candidate.
Beyond your university degree, it takes lifelong learning to build a career. This year, devote some of your resources — time and money, in doing something that directly builds your person and in effect, influences your career positively.
This could be coaching, taking an online course in your area. An important tip is also to remember to look at your career broadly — not just in terms of a particular employer or current role you are taking up.
Actively think about the impact you are making as an individual.
Beyond your manager’s evaluation of your work based on the set Key Performance Indicators, at a personal level, also think about the impact you are making at your place of work. Seek to stand out and attain excellence.
It is through impact that you get noticed at work, get promotions and of course grow your career.
This article was first published in Daily Nation