1. Waiting until you have “time” before you reshape your resume story.
A resume needs to be fit, and as you add weeks, months and years of new experience to your career body, your resume becomes overweight and out of shape. Routinely (yearly is ideal), you must take time to trim and tone your story.
However, the time to reshape your resume will never be right. Your weekend will always have more pressing priorities, and your weeknights filled with making dinner, taking the kids to their sports events or simply collapsing on the sofa. If you want your resume to compete against those of candidates who have taken the time to sculpt their message, then you must decide it is a priority. You may even decide to invest in yourself by hiring a resume writer.
Since your resume is the key that will unlock the door to your next great opportunity, maintaining a healthy, energized story is a must. Once you get in the flow, the process is invigorating and empowering.
2. Not applying deep thought or planning to your career goals.
Flying by the seat of your pants is not a good career strategy. While you may feel your career speaks for itself, and that simply doing your job well will propel you to your next promotion, think again. In this still-recovering economy, competition is fierce, and another candidate is thinking of ways to capture the opportunity you have worked long and hard for. Don’t let their preparedness trump yours.
Take time to think through what distinguishes your value: why you do things more efficiently or with more finesse or how you attract more clients or build better widgets that help grow the company. Be prepared to explain all of this when put on the spot by your next possible employer. Consider every conversation a possible link to your next job, and be mentally equipped to respond.
Follow this link to read 4 more career pitfalls and solutions: 6 Ways You’re Damaging Your Career — And How to Avoid Them.
Image via Flickr :: Elentir