1. Keep your Resume Updated

“Always be ready so you don’t have to get ready.” We’ve all heard that before! As a young professional, you need to always have your stuff together. By “stuff” I mean your professional portfolio. And by “Professional Portfolio” I’m referring to your Resume, Cover Letter, and References. As you’re moving up in your career, you should always be ready to pass on your resume to secure that next position. You’re wasting time GETTING it ready when you’re competition has already applied for the position, had his resume reviewed and was called in for the interview. Reminder: Your LinkedIn profile needs to stay current as well! If you don’t already have one, create it ASAP!

2. Create your Opportunity

Let’s be honest, sometimes the job we want requires more experience than we have. So how do you get around the Catch 22? Well, you need to keep your resume current by creating those opportunities to learn additional skills. You can do this in so many ways! Volunteer to lead a project, gain certifications, used websites like Coursera, Khan Academy, and Lynda to take free courses, run a committee at work, sit on a nonprofit board, or volunteer your time somewhere else to gain the experience. If you’re really brave, start your own business. Starting your own business is a lot of work so if you don’t have the time and passion to do so, don’t do it.

3. Work Backwards

What in the world does that mean? It means using tools like LinkedIn to find people in the positions you want to be in. Once you find them, check out their profile to see where they started and look at the evolution of their career. Once you see where they’ve started, analyze the skills they have and see how you can add them to your resume, or if you don’t already have them! Oh, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them. LinkedIn was developed to assist us in building relationships or “connections” with other professionals. Informational Interviews are so clutch! I’ll write another post on how to successfully do those!

These are just three things you can add to your to-do list NOW, to stay one step ahead.

Feel free to leave your comments or other tips and of course share if you agree!

Published by Lainey

Verlaine is the Founder & CEO for The Connect 757. She is on a mission to connect Black Young Professionals and be the catalyst to allow members to grow personally and professionally through social networking.

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