One thing 2020 taught us is that we can never be complacent. Curve balls come out of nowhere and turn our lives upside down. Most people assume their jobs are stable and will still be there tomorrow. Then, BOOM, something like COVID hits and they are vulnerable. Millions of people learned that the hard way this past year.
Here are 7 steps to take while you are still employed to make sure you are ready for the unexpected.
1. Update your resume using a professional service. Most of the advice and templates currently available on the internet, including the information from Career Services at your university, are sadly outdated. While you have the money, take the time to make yourself the star of your career.
2. Update your LinkedIn Profile content. Using the new resume, go back into LinkedIn, remove all the job duties, and replace them with achievements. Just posting your resume on the page isn’t enough. Recruiters use algorithms to find keywords, which don’t scan your documents.
3. Make the best use of your LinkedIn Cover/Banner area. This is like a billboard. Most people don’t bother to change it or, if they do, they put something pretty like a picture of their city at night. Even something generic that illustrates your field is slightly better.
4. Check your LinkedIn Profile picture. It should be a nice shot of you, looking friendly, tidy, and someone they’d want to chat with at a party. It doesn’t need to be a professional headshot. Just have a friend take a few pictures of you. Selfies always look like selfies with the slightly odd body tilt.
5. Build your LinkedIn Network. This is the one place people are lacking. Having 23 connections won’t help you in that crunch situation. Start adding people until you are in the hundreds. You can add anyone who is a 2nd connection to you. Add a note that says: I’m building my network for the future. Add recruiters and Open Networkers.
6. Ask for recommendations. Tell your colleagues you are trying to be prepared for the future and having them write something in a recommendation can really be helpful. There is a place to do this right on your profile. Give your colleagues a recommendation, too.
7. Follow companies where you’d like to work. Being aware of new developments can help you if you decide to make the jump for your current place of work. If you’ve taken all these steps, you will be ready.
8. Add employees from these companies to your network.
The Boy Scouts are right. Be prepared is a great motto.
Joanne Rosen, MAAC
Joanne founded Analytic Advantage Career Consulting in 2017, offering complete resume and/or career coaching packages that show you how to do everything in the article. Her expertise comes from recruiting overseas and leveraging her Master of Arts in Professional Communication to create documents that are clear, concise, and have that wow factor.