The new year is quickly approaching and with a new year comes 365 brand new opportunities. Whatever your goals are (new job, consulting opportunity, starting your own business), getting your professional image in line for 2018 should be part of your “New Year, New You” plan.
How to Refresh Your Professional Image For 2018
Refreshing your professional image does not mean starting from scratch. It’s important to analyze what’s working so that you can make smarter decisions in the new year.
Refreshing Your Resume
Let’s start with your resume, as it is likely the first thing a company sees when they go to hire you for a new job, a freelance position, or even an internship. Having a great resume is a crucial part of getting into the career field that you want. What does your resume say about you?
When you set out make any changes to your resume you should to have an end goal in mind. Ask yourself, “What do I hope to accomplish with my resume refresh?” Do you have a particular role with another employer that you want to land in 2018? Or maybe there’s a new position in your current company? Do some research on your target position to figure out how you can align your resume to meet that job’s objectives and needs.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that you back up your words with experiences and data. For example, if you grew your company’s Instagram following by 100%, detail that. Be specific.
Refreshing Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is a critical part of how you paint your professional image online. You’ll want to make sure you have the basics covered: an overview of your current role and past positions, a description that clearly states your expertise, your career objectives, as well as a comprehensive list of relevant skills.
When refreshing your LinkedIn profile, don’t forget your profile image. An inviting and career-appropriate profile picture can help you get your foot in the door with the hiring managers at companies whose attention you want to attract. Get a professional headshot taken so that you can create a great first impression or select the best picture you have available in your personal collection and size either option to fit the media.
Remember to treat LinkedIn like a professional network and note that recruiters use it as a professional search engine. It’s not Facebook or Instagram. What can you include in your profile that will get hiring managers to notice you and your skills? LinkedIn works a bit like Google, so make sure you’re including appropriate terminology that will come up in hiring manager searches. Revisit your summary and job descriptions to make sure they are up to par.
Things You Can Do in 2018 to Set You Apart
Creating excellent content will be key in 2018. Whether it’s a blog post or live stream, content will help you stand out. Alternatively, through a standout portfolio, employers can get to know your personality and have a better understanding of the skills that you can bring to the table.
The easiest way to get into creating content online is to use LinkedIn’s Pulse platform. LinkedIn has a large built-in audience of professionals, and your article can make a huge impact there. You could also consider starting your own blog or website to showcase your work, your writing, and even you critical thinking.
Cheers to 2018
A professional image refresh may be exactly what you need to get the career attention you require to help reach your goals in 2018. With the U.S. economy chugging along and the job market stacked in the job seeker’s favor, a refresh can help you start the new year ahead of the job search game.