Is Your Career Where It Should Be? Use This End-Of-Year Checklist.
As we close 2015, it’s time for an annual check-up on your job and career. Whether you’re happy in your current job, switching companies or positions, or worry that you might be fired, now is when your online presence must be strongest. Here’s how to make sure you’re well positioned.
Be on top of What’s Hot
Get to know what’s hot in your market. Do you know what’s in demand? Do you know what recruiters and hiring managers are interested in now? Where are the big opportunities? Now is the time to make sure you are seeing the right content. Follow the right people on Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure you’re getting exposure to the major tech publications and blogs through Facebook and email subscriptions. Ditch the ones that haven’t provided you value this year.
Perhaps more importantly, ask yourself if what you are selling is in danger of becoming obsolete or if the manner in which you sell (for example selling media versus selling a platform on a monthly recurring basis) is becoming outdated.
Think about your career as an investment. If you don’t have exposure to SaaS Sales then now might be the time to look for that experience. It might mean taking a short term hit in earnings, but it will be worth it long term. Read this post to understand how to make such a transition.
Check-in with Recruiters
Recruiters are generally in-the-know and an annual check up with trusted recruiters on what is happening in the market is a good thing. Even if you aren’t looking for a new role, find one or two recruiters who are knowledgeable about your space and interested in your career. You should regularly update them with your position status even if a move isn’t on your short term agenda. Here are some good tips on how to stay on top of any contingency recruiter’s mind.
Checking in with recruiters is also an opportunity to make sure you are marked to the market rate for your profession and seniority. This is especially important to do if you have been with a firm for more than three years, as you will more than likely be below market rate (unless you have solicited counter offers during that time). It can also occasionally highlight where you are overpriced. Read this blog post for an understanding of how you can identify that scenario and what you can do about it.
Ask Yourself: What do I Want?
Where do you see yourself next year? In five years? Ten? Do you want more flexibility to work remotely or perhaps more exposure to enterprise deals or a different area of sales – hunting versus farming or perhaps moving from a BDR role to an end-to-end sales role? If so, think about how you can get there and make a plan to do just that.
Is management experience on the top of your agenda? If you haven’t got that management experience yet, remember that getting promoted into management in your current role is definitely going to be the easiest path to doing so. Are you doing the right things to make this happen? Have you articulated that interest to your current manager and defined a path to get you there?
Do you want more exposure to different verticals or to selling different solutions? If so, explore moves that allow you to leverage your skillsets in one and pivot on the other or vice versa but don’t try and change both in one go (to understand recruiters’ logic read this).
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Even if you aren’t looking, it is important to keep your public skills up to date. Now is the time to review your social profiles and update them. LinkedIn is the most important, but make sure Facebook, Twitter, etc. reflect your current employer and status. You want potential hiring managers on LinkedIn to be able to find all the information they need. If you are planning on being in the market in 2016, there are very distinct ways to ensure recruiters find you on LinkedIn.
Here are six other essential tips for an immaculate LinkedIn profile for 2016
- Update, update, update. Update all company names and titles. Maybe your title has recently changed, or a previous employer has been acquired and has a new name. You want anyone viewing your profile to have the correct information.
- Declare your achievements. Don’t be stingy. Recognition from a previous employer is a big deal on your resume – it gives you credibility and shows that people respect your work. These achievements stand out to recruiters who only have 30 seconds to skim your profile.
- Be crystal clear on your FUNCTION. Too many functions across your jobs on LinkedIn can look unfocused. Be very clear on your function and stick by it to match industry norms. Consistency and a focus on your specific field will only help you find that perfect fit.
- Name drop. In sales, referring directly to well-known clients you have worked with makes your connections and value more obvious. For further clarity, group those clients by vertical. Names will catch a visitor’s eye and tell them what verticals you have insider knowledge of.
- Industry keywords. Like name dropping, using industry buzzwords makes you stand out as an expert. It also helps you get noticed by recruiters. You’ll show up in targeted LinkedIn searches. Think of your resume or profile as an advertisement, where key phrases hook your audience. “Saas, Social Media, Retail, IR 500, Marketing Technology….” The list is endless. Think of the ones that you believe recruiters might want to see from your background
- Check for typos. Typos are your worst enemy. It’s so easy to miss a typo in a resume or LinkedIn profile. Just one error could make or break your credibility. Read it out loud, print it out, and go at it with a pen line-by-line. Copy and paste your profile into a word processor to do a spelling and grammar check. You can try Grammarly too. It’s a simple Chrome plugin. In 2013, 58% of employers identified typos as one of the top mistakes in a resume that led them to dismiss a potential candidate. LinkedIn typos are the same except they are there for all to see, all the time!
Okay. You’ve updated your LinkedIn, you’ve emailed me to have a chat, and you’ve done your self-reflection and research. Now, it’s time to watch the job offers roll in.
I’m the founder of Glenborn Corporation – a boutique sales-focused recruitment firm in NYC serving the marketing and ecommerce technology industries. To stay on top of my latest job openings, shoot me an email or follow me on Twitter.