6 Career-Boosting Things You Can Do Before December 31

Whether you’re currently employed and casually looking around, or one of the casualties of The Great Resignation happening globally, it’s never a bad time to assess your online presence. And to look at ways to boost your career prospects to boot, as well. Here are six strategies you might like to think about. Ensure your…

Whether you’re currently employed and casually looking around, or one of the casualties of The Great Resignation happening globally, it’s never a bad time to assess your online presence. And to look at ways to boost your career prospects to boot, as well. Here are six strategies you might like to think about.

Ensure your LinkedIn is up to date

 
When it comes to personal branding tools, LinkedIn has pretty much cornered the market – and letting your profile gather dust isn’t a great idea, especially if you’re looking for a new role. Connecting with those in your field and building relationships over time can be super powerful – and really make the difference in your CV making it onto the short list pile.
 
So what should you be doing? Firstly, make sure your headline reflects what you do and has the appropriate keywords so you pop up in searches. Use the skills feature to showcase your skillset, especially the skills specific to your chosen career. Upload a recent, professional photo. Tweak your bio if it’s sounding a little dated – and when you leave a role, add to your experience section. Ask for recommendations, and take the time to engage in your space: comment, help out, be visible.
 
Take a course or two
 
If you’re currently unemployed, the temptation will be to sit on the couch and work your way through the entire six seasons of Billions – but don’t. Instead, use the time to your advantage by studying; it’ll impress potential job-posters and show them you’re proactive and motivated.
 
Get started by brushing up on existing skills, or look at taking an online course and expanding your skillset so you’re far more marketable. For ideas on what to study, look into Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), or check out CourseraLinkedIn Learning or Open Universities Australia.
 
Oh, and once you have that qualification in your hot little hand, it should go straight onto your CV and your LinkedIn!
 

Make a five-year plan

 
Want to be in the driver’s seat of your career? You need to make a plan for where you are now, where you want to be in years to come – and the strategies for getting there. A good plan has a solid goal, such as ‘I want to be working in software development at Google’. 
 
The next part of your plan involves assessing where you’re currently at, and what you need to do to achieve your goal. That might include finishing study or undertaking courses, volunteering or doing work experience (if that’s on offer in your industry), and taking small steps towards your goal over the next five years. You want to break down your goal into achievable chunks and ensure they’re ‘time-bound’ – ie, you have deadlines in place so you can stay motivated and celebrate your achievements along the way.
 

Clean up your socials

 
You might think it’s no biggie to have your Instagram or FB pages cluttered with holiday snaps or funny photos of that time you conquered the yard glass at university, but it’s not a good look for employers who may be checking you out to see if you’re worth an interview. The same goes for ranting on Twitter about your current boss or being rude or opinionated.
 
And before you resist tidying up your digital footprint, bear this in mind: 54 percent of employers say they’ve eliminated a candidate based on their socials.  Research also shows that at least 70 percent of employers vet candidates on social. They want to know what kind of person you are and whether you’re a good fit for their organisation. So make sure you do a social media audit (start by Googling yourself and seeing what comes up), deleting accounts you no longer use and deactivating problematic accounts. Also get into the habit of using aliases for social media that only your friends know about.
 

Research your worth

 
Do you have only a vague idea of what you could be earning? Knowledge is power and it’s time to do a little legwork to ensure you’re in a position to haggle come interview time. After all, if you don’t ask, no one is going to offer to boost your salary by an extra $10k (or, very rarely).
 
Start by trying to understand your personal market value by checking out salary surveys in your industry and contacting recruiters in your field who have their finger on the pulse. You could also look at salary ranges on sites like Glassdoor.com, Payscale or Salary.com.
 
And don’t underestimate the value of talking to friends and colleagues – doing so can unearth more intel than you might ever get searching the web. And once you know what you’re worth and what you should be getting paid, you can bring that to the table as part of salary negotiations. 
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