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How can leaders drive their career during a time of uncertainty?
At this time of global change, and with many of us working remotely in response to sensible social distancing measures, it is important not to lose sight of your career goals. While it is natural that many will be cautious when it comes to considering a job change, there are ways that you can continue to drive your career forward.
There are three core elements of effective career building: networking, a strong LinkedIn profile, and a great CV. While the way you network will have evolved, two fundamentals remain unchanged, so be sure you are taking the time to get them right.
What to do differently: Make the most of virtual networking
A strong networking strategy should be at the heart of all executives’ career plan. With social distancing measures in place, many live events are not taking place, but should not mean networking stops. There is a plethora of virtual social networking opportunities and they are more accessible than ever. Opportunities for virtual networking include:
Webinars – Join to share challenges and ideas with third parties.
LinkedIn - Use this time to connect and reconnect with past and present colleagues.
Existing contacts - Utilise technology and time to reach out to your network.
Online conversations - Get involved with industry articles and relevant press.
Career steps to continue: Make your LinkedIn profile and CV work for you
Getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is not just a place to be noticed by recruiters, but a powerful and important channel to help professionals generate deep insights into market conditions and trends as well as share advice and expertise. Developing a professional, well-crafted profile is important.
1. Upload a suitable photograph
This may seem like an obvious start, however, it is important to recognise that this will help potential employers recognise you as a friendly and approachable candidate from the outset of their search. The picture does not need to be taken by a photographer, it simply needs to be a good quality, professional image of you.
2. Keep your profile updated
Updating your profile regularly is a great habit to get into. It may be just a small change, like adding in a published article or even uploading a new picture. By keeping your profile as up to date as possible, you ensure that it most accurately highlights your organisational skills and demonstrates professional enthusiasm to potential employers.
3. Share your organisation’s content
Even if you are considering roles elsewhere, it is a good idea to share your current company’s content to your profile. This shows that you are active on your profile and that you are proud of your current organisation's work.
4. Write and publish your own articles
Writing an article each month is a great way to highlight that you are invested in your industry and that you have your own mind when it comes to speaking on matters that are important to you. These articles can also spark up conversations with your following and allow you to begin build relationships through the platform.
5. Do not be too descriptive
People want to read a succinct overview of your professional history and personal interests. It makes sense to assume that your resume and LinkedIn profile should contain the same kind of information, and to a certain extent, they should. The way this information is conveyed via these two platforms, however, should be considerably different.
6. Request recommendations from colleagues
Endorsements from other professionals are a great tool to utilise on LinkedIn. It is not unusual for people to request recommendations from their colleagues, and it is a good idea to do so. Aim to request endorsements periodically throughout your career.
Building a strong executive CV
Your CV forms a central part of any job application and it is important that it is an accurate representation of your employment history and achievements, as well as your overall career objective. When you need to update your CV, it is important to dedicate the time to get it right.
1. Keep the length to as close to two pages as possible.
2. Start with a personal statement or executive summary. Use it to highlight your key points, but make sure that it is personal, relevant, and not clichéd.
3. Do not create a CV that simply lists each role. The most important roles are your most recent and most senior positions. Focus on your space and add detail on these as a priority.
4. Avoid superfluous personal details such as age, religion, and sex.
5. Do not write in the first person - start sentences with verbs.
6. List your career history in reverse chronological order, explaining any gaps.
7. Use bullet points to list achievements and responsibilities.
8. Include language skills and any relevant training.
9. Keep your hobbies and interests brief but do include this section to add colour to the person behind the professional.
10. Focus on your relevant skills and experience to ensure you position yourself as a strong and suitable applicant to give yourself the best of securing the job.
Our extensive experience working with people at different stages within their careers gives us a deep understanding of the challenges that professionals face during a job search. Our specialist partners can provide more detailed advice for your career by assessing your unique skills, qualifications, and experiences.
If you would like to discuss how we can support you, your team, or your business at this time, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a confidential, non-obligatory discussion.
Partner, Page Executive