5 Career Moves to Make in One Hour
As the pumpkin pie and eggnog settles and the sounds of A Christmas Story start to fade you’re probably thinking about the end of another year. And it’s true a new year is a great time to make resolutions and reflect on the past year, but it’s also not too late to do a few more things in 2018! A new year could mean a new set of goals including a new job or a new promotion. If you want to be on top of your career game going into the new year here are some things that will help you start off on the right foot.
Here are 5 things you should do in 2018 (if you haven’t already) and even better yet - they each take 10 minutes and under. That’s less than an hour total to put yourself in the best position going into 2019 and take your career to the next level!
1. Make a professional email
Gone are the days of my first ever email - I’m not going to mention it here but it may have contained the words “prima ballerina” so yeah, not exactly what I want to put on my resume and have recruiters seeing. Let’s be real, it’s embarrassing enough when I have to say it out loud at the mall to get my frequent shopper points much less having official employment related things sent to it. Do yourself a favor and create a professional email that’s easy to remember - something along the lines of your first name + last name @ gmail.com (and no this isn’t a shoutout for Google I’m actually trying to get away from google but you will occasionally have recruiters share Google docs or Google calendar invites with you and it’s way easier to deal with if you have a gmail).
An important thing to note here - try to avoid using your student email as your professional email. At some point we all graduate (or give up) and we won’t be able to keep those emails forever. When that recruiter from your dream company touches base with you after graduation you want to make sure it’s going to be at an email you’ll have access to.
2. Make a LinkedIn Profile or Update your LinkedIn Profile
Okay I admit getting your LinkedIn profile to “Expert” isn’t an under 10 minute activity. But signing up for a LinkedIn is! Even just making an account is one step closer to “Expert” compared to not having one. Bonus points if you take the time to fill in your profile!
For those of us who have LinkedIn but forgot we did - take a few seconds to update it. Recruiters are always on LinkedIn so it doesn’t hurt to have your updated info on it. And while you’re at it, take a few seconds getting caught up on what people in your network are up to after all it’s the whole point of having a LinkedIn!
3. Update your Resume
This is one that I personally hate doing and always put off until someone says “send me your resume I can totally refer you!” and then I have to run home and stay up until 2am squishing all my edits onto a one page pdf. Don’t do this! Sit down today and look over your resume - did you change your email address? (*cough* number 1) Graduate from college? Take on a new responsibility at work? Be proactive and have that updated copy of your resume ready for the new year! You never know when it will come in handy.
4. Make yourself a business card
This one I can attest takes less than 10 minutes due to handy templates found on sites like Vistaprint or FedEx. And it’s true that there are hundreds of designs and colors which can feel overwhelming but just remember - the most important part of a business card is the information on it. Keep it simple and easy to read and make sure you put info on it that’s not likely to change (aka avoid putting a school email address that will be gone once you graduate - otherwise you’ll have to order more in a few years). Now whenever you meet someone you want to keep in touch with you can pull out a super professional business card. Bring on the networking 2019!
5. Clean up your Facebook/Instagram
Lately employers are getting wise and looking through everything about an applicant - including their social media. It really pays off to spend some time looking through your Facebook/Instagram and seeing what pictures you have been tagged in or posted that you might not want a future employer seeing. On the flip side, if you’ve done something really cool such as won an award or gotten a promotion - these are things that you might not want to hide. I mean, it’s not LinkedIn so don’t go driving your friends crazy but pictures showing your hobbies like snowboarding or hiking aren’t bad! Remember, in this digital world being a total ghost might raise just as much of a red flag as having a mugshot on your timeline.
Unfortunately Facebook’s “View as” feature was the source of a hack that left them vulnerable so they’ve removed the feature temporarily. It makes it a little more difficult to clean up your profile as a result but if you’re ever curious about who can see a given post or photo look for the little icon next to the date - it’ll either be a person, two people, a lock, or a globe. If you click on this icon you can adjust who can see a given post when they visit your timeline. Untag yourself from any pictures that you don’t want the whole world to see and make sure you utilize the audience feature of any posts/pictures you’ve uploaded. Here are some helpful guides that will help clean up your Facebook.
As for Instagram - unless you’re running a professional instagram for your personal brand I’d recommend keeping it private. Instagram stories can also wind up being publicly viewable and the last thing you’d want is for your happy hour story pictures to be seen by your boss when you’re supposed to “have the flu”. You can always make the switch at any point - all you have to do is go to settings and click “switch to private”.
And if you want to keep your profile public but want to hide those pictures you posted years ago but hate you can archive pictures! I personally love this feature because it lets you remove the photo from your Instagram feed but you can re-add it at any point plus they’re all visible in the archive section.
Here we are an hour later and you are ready to take on the new year! Remember that even though a new year is a nice time for resolutions you can choose to make a positive change in your life any day. Taking some time to tick these 5 items off your list will put in a much better spot to go out and get that dream job. Happy new year!