Ways To Make This Your Best Career Year Ever

Dream jobWhether you’re working toward that corner office or just want to put yourself out there in the best light possible and see what opportunities come your way, consider making these career moves. They’ll help you fine-tune your image, climb the ladder and leverage your network, setting you up for job success.

Position Yourself for New Opportunities

Get the ball rolling by getting organized, both in the office and online.

Clear physical and digital clutter.

Start by sorting through unread emails and creating a folder system to manage your future messages. To avoid falling into a black hole of spam, withdraw from unwanted subscriptions; while  you’re in clean-up mode, tidy up your work space by filing paperwork and organizing office supplies and trashing things you don’t need.

What’s all this have to do with a career upgrade? Without random stuff and unorganized digital files to distract you, you’ll feel mentally less cluttered—so you can do your job better as well as clarify in your head the work goals to shoot for this year.

Update your resume.

Use metrics to quantify your accomplishments; numbers draw the eye and show your impact on the company’s bottom line, says Louise Kursmark, an executive resume writer and co-author of “Modernize Your Resume.” If you boosted profit margins by 20% or signed 20 new clients, say so. Not only will you show your overall contribution, those numbers can help distinguish you from the rest of the candidate pool, she notes.

To stay current, Kursmark recommends giving your resume a splash of color in section headings or by adding a personal logo. “Because hiring managers are looking at job applications digitally, you want color to make your resume pop,” she explains. Just don’t go too crazy with multiple hues or typefaces. “You don’t want your resume to look like a ransom note,” she adds.

Polish your LinkedIn profile.

You have more space online than you do on paper, so capitalize on the extra real estate, says Los Angeles executive coach Libby Gill. Use the summary section to explain why you’re passionate about your field. Make sure you have a current professional headshot or photo that’s relevant to your work (for example, if you’re a coastal engineer, you might use a photo of you by the ocean). Update your profile with new skills, work experience and industry groups you’ve joined.

You’ll also want to take advantage of new tools the platform has rolled out. In October, LinkedIn introduced

Boost your social media presence.

Depending on your industry, it could pay off to improve your visibility on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Think about the best platforms for your kind of work. It makes sense for a graphic designer to have an Instagram account, but if you’re an accountant, being active on Twitter by sharing news relevant to your profession may be more appropriate.

It goes without saying that your social media profiles need to appear professional. Yet you might be surprised by the info and images that are considered incriminating and should be scrubbed from your accounts. For example, 47% of recruiters said they view photos of alcohol consumption negatively on social media, according to Jobvite’s 2016 Recruiter Nation Report. The survey also found that 72% of recruiters are put off by typos, so proofread before hitting the publish button.

Grow Your Network

In many industries, what you know is just as important as who you know. Here’s how to expand your network—and the number of opportunities that follow.

Build relationships in your field.

You interact with your co-workers on a regular basis anyway, so enrich these relationships by organizing a team lunch or taking key colleagues out for drinks after work. “Spending time together in a casual environment is a good way to connect with people,” Britton says.

Making connections outside your organization requires more effort, like attending conferences and networking events where you can rub shoulders with industry experts and recruiters. We know, it’s not always easy schlepping out in the cold to talk shop with strangers. But talking face-to-face pays off. “You can’t just sit behind your computer and only network online,” Gill says.


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