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Do you feel as though you are at a standstill in your current career? Have you been looking forward to a promotion that just isn’t materializing? Perhaps it is time to reevaluate your methods and find a different way to land that advancement or move to a new department within your company.
Here are some essential career tools that established job seekers need to keep their careers moving.Build my resume
Networking remains the most effective way to get promotions, new jobs or greater responsibilities. Start within your company, particularly if you hope to remain there, and work your way out to other contacts. Learn to strike up conversations and always carry business cards; you never know who might be your next job lead. If you have not already, sign up for business networking sites like LinkedIn to get your resume and credentials noticed while building a virtual network of colleagues, friends and contacts.
Find more job networking tips in our networking guide.
If your company provides in-house training, follow through with new certificates, classes and learning opportunities. The more you know, the more you can offer your employer, which can lead to greater responsibilities and upward mobility on the corporate ladder. If your employer does not offer training, consider signing up for specialty courses or online college classes in your chosen field to work toward a degree or certifications that will help you in your job.
Skills checklists for your career field can be an excellent way to help you find areas where you need more training or experience. Knowing what a typical worker in your prospective career is expected to do will help you tailor training courses and extracurricular learning to achieve the necessary resume skills, knowledge and certifications. With these results, you can ask your employer for more opportunities to grow in your weak areas.
You can find plenty of websites that offer job skills testing and give you a powerful way to make sure that your skills are still relevant in today’s job market. A skills test is a tool you should use at least twice each year to determine if there are any classes you should be taking or if it is finally time to get your resume out and make that next big move in your career.
Perhaps what is holding you back is as simple as how your current resume looks. Consider revamping your resume template, especially if you have not updated it recently with skills, knowledge or work experience. Also, consider the resume format; is it the right type of resume for your career choice? Sometimes a fresh look for your resume is all it takes to get that second glance from an employer.
One misconception established job seekers have is that an updated resume is only necessary when they need to look for a new job. If you are truly interested in maximizing your career, then an updated resume is critical to your success.
Give your resume a facelift with our Resume Builder. It’s user-friendly, has tons of templates to choose from and takes you section by section. You can also upload your current resume to edit it easily. If you’re unsure where to start, check our library of resume examples for inspiration.
Another way to see where you might need extra training or experience is by taking a career aptitude test. This is an impartial testing method that measures how your abilities, skills and knowledge measure up to the standards for workers in your chosen career. You might even find it helpful to print out and include the results of these tests when you apply for that next job or promotion.
By utilizing some of these tools, you can position yourself to be next in line for a promotion or new job. The more effort you make to better your career, the more likely you are to see results, so pursue training and responsibilities, and make sure you network with anyone who might be a potential lead. Career advancement is simply a matter of finding and using the resources available.
A career counselor is a professional who can help an established job seeker to utilize all of the resources at their disposal and maximize their career potential. Proactive job seekers utilize the knowledge of a career counselor even when they feel that they have a stable job. A career counselor will point out the changes you need to make to keep your focus on your career path and make sure that you are meeting all of your goals.
It may not be easy, but as you prepare for a new career move, it’s useful to find someone who is currently working in your field and see if you can shadow them at work for a day or two. This sort of direct experience can be invaluable in helping you to understand what will be expected of you and what you need to know to do your job. It can also be a great way to get some perspective and determine whether you see yourself growing in that field.
Preparing to take on a new job is one thing, but preparing for a new career in which you have little direct experience is very different. When you decide that it is time to transition to a new career, there are things you will need to do to make the transition easier. Before you get your new career underway, you should create a solid foundation that will pave your way to success.
Determine how you want the career change to affect your goals. Decide three to five objectives this career can help you achieve: finances, friends, family, interests, health, etc. Having this list will be inspirational and give you a greater idea of how much a career change means to you.
Begin researching new career opportunities. Maybe you already have an idea of what you’d like to do. It’s time to start a checklist of the best ways to enter and succeed in that industry. Reeducation, certification, degree, connecting with old colleagues or meeting new ones could all be part of the process. If you’re unsure, look at skill-matching websites that will take a range of criteria and help align them with professions that fit your tastes.
You should also leverage social media. Social media offers a unique advantage to people changing careers that had not existed in the past. Learning to speak the language of your new career is usually something you acquire over time. But you can use social media to start learning how to talk to people in your new industry immediately and establish comfort in talking about issues in your new field before you even get started at your first job.
Lastly, even if you are making a drastic change to a new career, there are still elements of your old career that you need to keep strong if you want to be successful. Analyze your existing skill set and utilize the skills you have already developed to help you in your new career.
Once you’ve leveraged your career assessment, your network contacts, your refreshed resume and the other tools in this list, you’ll be ready to impress any hiring manager. You’ve already invested a great deal of time and resources into your career, so it’s important to equip yourself to find the success that you deserve. For even more tips and guides to making the most of your career, visit our Career Blog.
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