We all face periods of career uncertainty — times when employment is low or you can’t seem to find the right job for you at this moment. It’s easy to let these periods go by, just surviving. But these are the times to invest in yourself and stay ahead, so you’re ready for when this period is over.
Here are 5 ways to stay ahead in your career, right now.
Update your resume
Now is the perfect time to reevaluate your resume and how effective it’s being for you. Do a deep dive and ask yourself:
- Can the grammar be improved?
- What can I add?
- What can I remove?
- Can the design be better — more modern, easy-to-read, and sleek?
- What sort of jobs are you applying to, and does this resume fit what they need?
Once you’ve asked yourself these things, you can get to work polishing and improving your resume. You can even have someone else look at it and give you their thoughts.
Polish your LinkedIn profile
There is an art to an effective LinkedIn profile. You should go into each job description and add depth to each one, focusing on the most significant jobs and explaining how you added value to the role, not just what your daily tasks were. Also, add your skills, languages, courses, and projects. You can even ask a former employer or coworker to leave you a recommendation.
Expand your knowledge through online learning
Speaking of adding skills and courses, one of the best things you can do in this time is to learn new skills, or sharpen and develop old ones. A few ways to do this:
- Take courses. Many sites offer free or affordable online courses, including Coursera, Lynda, Udemy, edX, etc. You can learn coding, web development, photography, video editing, and more.
- Attend webinars. More and more businesses are offering online webinars. Take advantage of the fact that you don’t have to spend money on traveling to these talks anymore and attend a webinar in a subject you’re interested in.
- Read e-books, read real books, or listen to an audiobook.
Most employees love seeing entrepreneurial work and mindset on a candidate’s resume. What can you do right now from home that uses your skills, talent, and creativity? It doesn’t have to be world-changing, but even starting a YouTube channel on a topic in your industry or doing freelance work can make a difference.
Keep up with industry trends and advancements
Many people call themselves industry experts but don’t bother to keep up with their industry. Stay on top of trends by reading on industry news sites and learn about new technologies, regulations, or systems in your industry. This knowledge will not only impress a potential employer, but serve you in a future job.
So if you’re struggling through a time of career uncertainty, it’s time to recalibrate. Focus on yourself, your skills, and your self-development, and you will come out on the other side ready to take on the next phase of your career.