Grab your paper and pencil, and make these lists:
with whom you’d like to renew your network.
Jobseekers’ networks are their #1 source for referrals, notices of prime job openings, and internal recommendations. Don’t lose the opportunity to increase your sphere of influence by losing touch with important contacts you’ve not connected with in a while.
you’ve worked on in the last two years that showcase your expertise and winning contributions to your company.
Your next hiring manager is going to want to know how you can solve his or her pain starting… now. By having a clear understanding of the contributions you have made, and thus the contributions you can make immediately, will help you organize your thoughts for your resume and your interview.
your skills have changed or grown in your current position that support a promotion.
If you can’t identify in thirty seconds or less how your skill set has improved since you started your current role, you need to do some serious thinking. These are exactly the types of skills that you will showcase on your resume and, ultimately, in your interview. Think of them as pre-on-the-job training, which now your future employer won’t have to ensure that you get, as you’re already there!
you’ve recently discovered about your work.
You’ve changed and upgraded your skill set in response to . . . something. Identify which projects impelled you to work harder, smarter, better, or with different resources. Take the time to identify not only what you did but how you did it. Demonstrate how you have already taken steps to tackle the types of situations your new hiring manager is expecting you to manage in the future. In addition, utilize these job upgrades to show why you’re the only one for the job you’re seeking (and why you merit a significant pay increase, too!).
One skill set or new challenge
that you have yet to incorporate into your professional toolbox.
Want to know why they need a specific line item broken out in Accounting? Ask the manager. Is that program manager handling a project with new technology? Go ask her about it. Heard about a great webinar that will add something new and different to your already diverse skill set? Sign on, and improve your marketing pitch to include your new abilities.
Now take a step back and read what you have written. All of these together contribute to the branding and image that you want to project to your future manager. Your next challenge is to distill all of what makes you great, hirable, and worthy of a fabulous salary. Put these features of your professional self into your elevator pitch, your resume, your cover letter, and your interview. You’ve got the goods, now go get the job!