Use Leap Day to Leap Forward in Your Career
Time is a commodity – something we all say we need more of. Well, 2016 is a lucky Leap Year! 24 hours are built into the calendar to ensure that it stays in line with the Earth’s movement around the Sun. But we can all look at is as 24 extra hours to spend on things we might not normally be able to fit into our schedule.
You could organize your closet, use that gym membership you got in January that you haven’t gotten around to using yet, get some extra sleep OR you could use the extra time to work on improving your career path with some advice from a Cisco recruiter (That’s me!).
Regardless of whether you are currently searching for a new job, just exploring your options or looking to move forward with the in position you already have these few extra steps might give you a leg up over the competition.
- Get Social! – This is the age of social media and companies are actively using social sites to recruit and review potential new hires. If you haven’t already started your social media repertoire it’s time to get out there! Sign up for Twitter and share some thoughts, start posting some pictures of your adorable pets on Instagram, get that LinkedIn profile up and running. Follow your current company to keep up with new activities and projects, and follow other places you could see yourself at in the future to keep up on what they might be doing as well. I suggest following @Cisco and @WeAreCisco on Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram! A certain recruiter is also on all of those sites if you are looking to make more connections ;).
- Update Social Profiles You Already Have: If you already have a LinkedIn profile take some time to update it and add anything new you might have accomplished. Most people only update their profiles when they are looking for a new position but keeping your profile up to date can open up opportunities you might not have even been aware of. I can assure you recruiters are out there looking for people just like you, so help us find you by creating an up-to-date and active presence. Have you learned a new language, earned a new certification, done some awesome volunteer work? Let us know about it!
- Update Your Resume: make sure you always have an up-to-date copy of your resume handy, as you never know who might be looking at you. Keep up with current trends; did you know that objective statements on resumes are becoming outdated? Get rid of that objective statement and use the extra space to tell us more about your experience, skills and accomplishments.
- Update Old Application Profiles on Company Websites: If you are currently applying for new positions make sure you are updating any old application profiles you might already have with the company. I get so many applications with outdated information simply because people forget to go in and update their years old profiles before they apply for a new position. Recruiters can’t reach you if you have outdated contact information (like that college email you never check anymore) and they won’t always know if you only updated your resume but didn’t update your profile so be sure to update everything when you apply somewhere using an application you already have in their system.
- Make Connections and Make Sure Your Personality is Showing on your Profiles/Resumes: With this extra day, make some time to make connections and network. You never know who might have the right connections to help you get your new dream job and even if they can’t help you professionally who couldn’t use a few more friends or acquaintances now and then. Connecting with new people is almost never a waste of your time. Speaking of connecting in order to make those connections make sure you aren’t coming off robotic in your profiles, I want to know I am connecting with a real person. Put some personality on your profile and people who have the same interests as you will be more likely to follow you or send you that friend request. Are you a big advocate for animal adoption? Follow your local adoption sites or the Humane Society or ASPCA and repost some of their information or start up a conversation with them. Are you a comic book fan? Follow Marvel, DC, Stan Lee and any other of the numerous comic fan sites to keep up to date on current information and meet other people with the same interests.
- I have one more piece of advice for you and I promise this one is the most important! Spend some of that extra Leap Day time doing something that makes you happy. Go see a movie (I can personally tell you that the new Star Wars movie is excellent.) Start reading that new book you have been meaning to get to. (Or do both! There are lots of great movies coming out this year based on novels already available, here is a great list of new books to read before the movies come out this year http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/86204.Books_Becoming_Movies_in_2016 . I am personally looking forward to reading The Girl on The Train!). Take your dog for a nice scenic walk, or volunteer at your local animal shelter if you don’t have a pet, the animals there are always happy for some love and attention. The point is make sure you make time to do the things you love because life is short so seize that extra day!
Today might also be a great opportunity to send in that Cisco application you’ve been wanting to. Visit our Careers page for current openings.