1.WORK ON YOUR RESUME
Most people work on their resumes only when forced to. Make the time now to update first your resume data. Second, try and capture your projects and accomplishments since the last time you did this. Don’t make a huge production of it. Just get it done.
2.ASSESS YOUR SITUATION
What is the state of your industry, organization, and your position today? DO NOT automatically assume that you are immune to unpleasant or surprise changes. What can and should you do about it?
3.WRITE YOUR BIO
Writing your one-page bio is a hugely valuable exercise. Here’s why. A good bio pulls everything you’ve done to describe WHO you are and WHAT you are about in a consistent theme. The act of writing it makes you much more self-aware about your career, which helps in your planning. A bio is another tool you can use to market your personal brand. You can readily send it to someone as an introduction to yourself without sending the signals that accompany a resume. Traditionally, bio’s have been reserved for the very senior and for public speakers. Ignore that. Write your bio. Have fun with it. And, learn. (Hint: A great way of thinking about life chapters and what’s next.)
4.POST YOUR RESUME / ENLIST JOB SEARCH AGENTS
Basically, most job boards allow you to apply for jobs posted by employers, post your resume to a resume database searchable by paying employers, program automated agents to notify you of matching jobs, and access career-related content.
If you are already signed up on one or more job board sites, update your data following the work you just did on your resume. Most job boards display resume search results for recruiters based on most new or recently updated date. This has the added benefit of moving your resume up on results list.
If you haven’t, you should consider it. Most job boards allow you to post anonymously if you wish.
At a minimum, create career opportunity alerts or job search agents. You create and save a set of criteria that matches your interests and the job board periodically emails you either a list of matching jobs posted on their site or emails you a link to their site when the jobs become available. If and when something catches your interest, then you can choose to act on it.
5.CULTIVATE YOUR REFERENCES
Good references will probably be there for you when you need them, but it is wise to not take them for granted. Renew your list. Make sure you have their up to date contact information. Re-acquaint, if appropriate. Can you help them with something? Remember, that you will need some of them 10+ years from now.
6.CULTIVATE YOUR POWER NETWORK
The best time to get a loan from the bank is when you don’t need the money. Work on those relationships in a mutually beneficial way.
7.CULTIVATE THE RIGHT RECRUITERS
At a later date, I will write about the art of working with recruiters. For now, understand that the world is full of good and bad recruiters. Developing a relationship with the good ones is a very smart career move indeed. Putting aside their obvious access to interesting jobs, they can provide rare market data and feedback. Moreover, as true people & relationship collectors, smart recruiters can be an awesome source of introductions into new, interesting and powerful circles. I will discuss this more at a later date.
Use a private email address for this kind of correspondence. Save your resume, bio, reference document and others in an easily accessible, secure e-folder. Have them in multiple formats (Word or WP, text, and html) so that you aren’t forced to convert at the last minute.