Even if you're thinking about how to get ahead in your career year round, the new year is a great time to reset and re-evaluate your goals and how you plan to get there. To help you plan and prioritize, I've put together a Top 10 list of career resolutions for 2015. How many of these can you put into action in 2015?
- I will keep my resume fresh – It is important to keep your resume updated. A general rule of thumb is to refresh your resume every 6 months. Now, you don't have to rewrite it, but make sure to revisit and refresh it.
- I will work on my "elevator pitch" – An elevator pitch is a 30-90 second speech that shows an employer or contact why you are worth considering. This focuses on your skills and experience. The elevator pitch is great to use at career fairs, industry events, and answering the interview questions "tell me about yourself" and "why should we hire you?"
- I will create a "bucket list" – We all have dream jobs and dream companies to work for. Why not work on making that dream a reality? Come up with a list of companies you want to work for, research them, follow them on LinkedIn and begin to build relationships.
- I will practice my interviewing skills – Nobody is perfect; that's why we practice. Practicing your interviewing skills is a great way to gain confidence, reduce nerves and shake off that rust.
- I will conduct an informational interview – Networking is a vital aspect of your career search. An informational interview is a great way to create a new contact, learn about an industry and get great advice firsthand on how to succeed.
- I will use the three-day rule – Timing can be very important in your job search. One of those timing factors is when you apply for a position. Statistically, applying within the first three days of a position being posted dramatically increases the chances of getting a response.
- I will get and stay educated on my industry – Whether it's taking simple steps to stay on top of industry trends via research, newsletters and networking groups or going deeper and pursuing a new or advanced degree in your field, having the right knowledge is always critical.
- I will be more active with LinkedIn – LinkedIn can be a great resource, whether or not you're currently working. Just having a profile is not enough. Join industry-related groups. Contribute to conversations. This allows you to become more of a presence while building your personal brand.
- I will attend an industry event – Industry events are great ways to meet people within your industry and generate networking contacts. Many companies and professional organizations hold events to allow for networking and learning.
- I will utilize my Career Services department – Your university's Career Services department is an excellent resource to use in a career search, particularly in generating job search and interviewing strategies and knowledge.
Learn more about taking your career in a new direction in 2015: Download our guide, How to Go from the Job You Have to the Career You Want.
If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800, Option 5, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.