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2019 is upon us, and the new year presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the previous 12 months' accomplishments and challenges. And with that, it's also the perfect opportunity to polish up your resume and professional profiles.
Most professionals don't take the time to regularly update their resumes and information outside of when they're actively searching for a new job, and that means their resume can sit untouched for years. The problem with this approach is that details can grow hazy over time, and updating a several-years-old resume is exhausting and will almost certainly lead to some oversights. Even if you aren't actively looking, polishing your resume can be a powerful tool for evaluating your strengths and weaknesses in your current role, and it can give you a roadmap for professional growth for the upcoming year.
To get you started, here are a few specific areas to focus your reflection on.
Start your reflection on a high note and list the professional accomplishments and successes that you were most proud of in 2018. This could be as major as a promotion or a successful product campaign, or as seemingly minor as finally organizing your desk. Expanding this list to little wins will often help you realize how much you really accomplished, and it kicks off this exercise with a solid foundation of positivity.
Once your proudest moments are listed, highlight the ones that you think are resume-worthy and add them right away. You already have one resume update complete.
After your accomplishments have been accounted for, reflect on the larger responsibilities of your job itself and how they have changed, evolved, or been added to since last January.
When you do this exercise yearly, it will help paint the picture of your professional story and can help your resume tell a narrative beyond just a list of accomplishments. The responsibilities give those accomplishments context, and you can weave them in throughout so you can keep track of your evolving qualifications.
Make sure that your professional profiles on sites like Linkedin reflect your most up-to-date roles and responsibilities so that recruiters get the most accurate impression of your current status.
Reflecting on the negative is less enjoyable, but it's arguably the most critical part of this exercise. Take some time to actually list out the moments when you were frustrated or challenged during 2018, and make note of which challenges and frustrations have carried over into 2019.
Once you've finished, take a break if you're feeling stressed. Go for a walk, watch a movie, go get coffee, anything to recharge and help you come back with renewed energy. When you've returned, go line-by-line and write down something you learned from each experience. The goal in this step isn't to immediately solve your challenges, but these learnings will enable a roadmap to take shape for how to attack 2019.
Take special note of any challenges that you overcame, and either add them to your resume or file them away as talking points for future interviews.
If, after going through this process, you're unsatisfied with your recent accomplishments, or find that 2018's frustrations have continued into the new year, it's time to take action.
Go back to your list of challenges and review what you learned from each of them, then use those learnings to build an action plan that addresses each challenge head on. Say, for example, you had trouble making a deadline in 2018, and your learning was that your workflow was often interrupted by emails and other tasks. In that case, you can restructure your work approach in 2019 by shutting off email for a designated period of time and committing that time to uninterrupted focus on the big task at hand.
If your frustrations and challenges stem from a larger dissatisfaction with your current position, it could be time to explore new opportunities. The great news is that you already have an updated resume in hand.
The job landscape can completely change in January as new scopes are signed and new positions are opened to fill those needs. January is also a time of renewed vigor for recruiters and HR departments who have been contending with holiday schedules and interruptions during December.
If you're satisfied with your current job and accomplishments, the job landscape can give you greater context for how your role fits within an ever-evolving industry. You might find that there are certain qualifications or requirements that have become more common, and you can look for opportunities with your current employer to add to your skillset and ensure that you're keeping pace.
If you're unsatisfied with your current job and accomplishments, January is an opportune time to consider your next professional step. And if you're ready to put your updated resume into action, start your search by browsing Modis for opportunities. We specialize in guiding, preparing, and placing specialists in roles and projects that further their careers.
2019 can be your year for major professional growth. Go forth and take action.