So, you are about to explore a career transition. You probably have some idea about what the end goal looks like, but I encourage you to slow down and think about the critical details that need to be addressed before jumping in. The first thing is to have clarity about what you want and what you don’t want. See it and embrace it so your audience understands your focus and isn’t left confused or misguided. Perhaps you are interested in moving into a higher-level role, transitioning down from a leadership position, changing career direction, or maybe it’s exploring a different industry. Start with your vision. Once you are confident and comfortable about what you want and can articulate it, now you are ready to step into the creating phase.
What should you create? Your story! Start with your resume: make it interesting, keep it current (no ancient history, please), and fill it with relevant keywords and accomplishments! Remember, this is your sales brochure, not a list of job duties. Review multiple current online job postings looking for those critical skills (hard and soft). If you can embrace those keywords, add them into the resume in the different sections. What’s going to make you stand out? Accomplishments! I know you have career success stories. Did you save money, improve productivity, develop a new strategy, generate revenue, receive recognition (awards), or do more with less? Think like a Hiring Manager. They want to hire someone who’s going to make a difference.
The next step is learning to love your new best friend: LinkedIn. Now’s the time to revisit your LinkedIn profile by building your story. With over 90% of recruiters and hiring managers using this as their #1 source, your LinkedIn profile is a fantastic way to get noticed. My top suggestions are keywords, connections, and activity. Be bold and stand out so you get attention. Change your background picture so it speaks to your branding. Make sure your headshot photo is professional and current (you should look like the person who’s going to show up for the interview). You have several categories within your profile where you can share your accomplishments, experiences, and successes with the reader. Maximize every section (and don’t forget to add in those important keywords). Read (yes, read) your profile for typos. Don’t rely on spell-check. There are thousands of “managers” that are listed as “mangers” in their profile and, unfortunately, don’t realize it. Finally, maintain your activity by continuing to connect and build your network, joining groups, and posting multiple times weekly.
Another important step in the career transition process is networking. It’s all about having informal discussions with people, rekindling old relationships, and making new ones. At CCI Consulting, we know this is a critical step in any career transition. Networking isn’t about asking for a job. Talking to people about their industry, company, and role is a terrific way to learn and explore things you may not have considered before. Reach out to everyone in your network (including connections that are retired) and make a commitment to stay in touch. Foster those relationships. I am a believer that people care and want to help, but don’t know how. Remember your vision? What a great opportunity to share it!
If you feel the need for professional guidance, you may want to consider career transition services, especially if they were offered as part of your severance package from your employer. Studies indicate that those who work diligently within a formal career transition program decrease their period of unemployment while increasing their level of satisfaction with the new position they assume.
Ready? Let the journey begin! Stay positive, memorable, and be good to yourself.