Thinking of dusting off your resume and sending it out? Before you hit send, take a little pre-resume time to sort a few things out to make sure that your next career move sticks. Simply updating your resume and sending it out without a plan won’t get you the results you want. When it comes to your career, making self-aware and informed decisions are the ones that will set you on a career path that will bring you more satisfaction.

What can you do to make those better decisions? First you should take the time to determine just what it is you want and need out of your career to develop a robust career goal.  Then you can evaluate your skills and experiences to understand where they fit and how they can take you towards your goal. Then finally research the opportunities that are out there to help you set your expectations.

Determine Your Career Goal

What is your career goal? A fully flushed out career goal takes several aspects into consideration, not just a simple statement of a job title. Create a map of what your ideal career looks like: location, compensation, organizational culture, industry, growth, client base…consider any and all areas you can think of. Develop a robust picture of what you want. Doing so helps you determine which are the right opportunities for you and which are the ones to pass on. If you are going to put forth the effort of seeking a new opportunity, you might as well make sure that you are seeking the right ones.

Evaluate Your Skills and Experiences

Do you know what it is that you can actually do? When asked, most people list off what they do in their job like they are reciting a grocery list.  This is opposed to actually explaining what they do well and how they do it. Before you even consider what roles you are seeking, you should first take the time to evaluate your skills and experiences to help you understand what you do well and where it might fit. You’d be surprised at how transferable many of your skills are, and how they can benefit other positions. An excellent approach to start this task is to take that ‘grocery list’ of skills and start writing out examples of how you do each skill.

Research the Market

When was the last time you thought to look up labour market information? It’s not an every day occurrence, and most people don’t even know where to start (because really, it’s not something we are typically taught that we need to know). You don’t need to worry about stats and reports to do a little labour market research. All you need to is to go out with a critical eye to evaluate the kinds of opportunities out there. Look at job boards and company career pages, talk to people in your network about what’s out there, and do a little digging on average salary ranges in your geographic area (LinkedIn has a new resource for this, and you can also look at sites like Glassdoor and Payscale). Researching the market will reveal to you what kinds of opportunities are out there, if the market is saturated, if you are looking at a small, niche market, and what kind of pay you can expect. Those details can help set your expectations on what you might find and what you might be offered.

After taking the time to determine the above you will be better armed to write a resume with purpose. You’ll have a clearer idea of what you want and what you are going after which makes chasing those opportunities so much sweeter.


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Ready to write that resume? Check out the Resume Revival Strategy + Design Kit to help guide you on writing an impactful resume that will get you results.