1. Get a nice photo taken of yourself. Don’t do a selfie. Have a family member or a good friend take your picture in good light and then do some magic and make that photo into a professional head shot. You will need it for a number of reasons. I recommend at least three different versions.
2. Stop thinking about it and do it. Pull out your resume and give it an update. Have you gotten new degrees, certifications or training? What major accomplishments deserve to be highlighted? Have you had a title change or restructuring in your role with new responsibilities? This is the time to make those changes. Then put it on your calendar as a repeating 1-hour appointment every six months to review and revise your resume.
3. Once your resume is updated, don’t delay updating your LinkedIn account. There are 433 million registered LinkedIn users – your new boss is probably one of them. The average user is on LinkedIn just 17 minutes each month. You have enough time to do the same. Ensure you have an updated profile picture (see #1); you are 14 times more likely to be viewed. Make it a monthly goal to post at least one interesting article and ensure you are connected with groups of professionals in your target career.
5. Say yes to the requests that come from others when they reach out to you for career connections and advice. You may be on someone’s top six list. It can be hard to find time for everything, but it is never a waste of time. You also never know when a connection can become reciprocal in your career path.
If you do not have time in July to hit all five of these points – just begin. Do not wait until December or January to focus on a desired transition. Take advantage of the flexibility that summer months often provide and be a good steward of your own career. When that new opportunity surfaces before the end of the year, you will be ready!
What part of this check-up do you need to focus on first? When is your check-up scheduled?