Ask Amber: Things to do this week to get ahead

By Amber Alarid, JVA Consulting

Whether you are currently employed or job hunting, these are simple things you can do this week that could lead to a big impact on your career. From actions that take only moments to a weekend project, you have the time and the power to propel your career forward THIS WEEK.

Update your resume

In case the hint has been too subtle in my past blogs, let me be blunt here: update your resume if you are job hunting or even just considering a career move or partnership. Contact information, skills and career objectives should all be current. If you need to update and print new resumes, invest in resume paper that is sophisticated, but that also reflects your personality. This may sound weird, but an example in a previous blog was to use banana paper or recycled paper to represent your environmentally conscious values if that is an image you want to reflect.

Stash a few business cards anywhere and everywhere you frequent

Business cards at your desk are a given, but it’s a great idea to have them handy at all times. Keep a few in your wallet, a few in your car, a few at home, and give a few to any well connected friends. It only takes a second to replenish your stock of cards, but it will mean a lot when you run into someone you would like to keep in touch with or when a friend references you in a conversation for a potential networking opportunity.

Clean up your social media profiles

Whatever social sites you are on (even if they are mostly used for personal networking) should be current and appropriate. LinkedIn should have any new experiences or skills future employers might find important. Twitter should not include any profanity, and Facebook should not have pictures of you doing keg stands. Whether you are using these sites for personal or professional growth, know that recruiters are looking, and whatever is on the internet can be found. Cleaning up these sites is so simple you can even do it in front of the TV one night this week.

Check in with your references

If it has been a while since you have talked to people you usually list as references, this is a great time to catch up with them. Send an email, call or better yet offer to take them out for coffee or lunch. This may also be warranted if your references are people you see often but who aren’t necessarily up to date on what you have been up to professionally. Anyone you list as a reference should easily be able to rattle off your recent accomplishments and should be able to give you a stellar review.

Even with other responsibilities such as work, volunteering, board duties or spending time with family and friends, there is time to prepare yourself for interviews or impromptu networking opportunities.

What are quick and simple professional development ideas you practice each week or even each day? Comment below to share your advice with young professionals.

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This entry was posted in College graduates and nonprofits, Gen Xers, Human resources, Millenials, Social media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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