What you should do before switching jobs – or at any time

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Did you decide it is that time to quit your job? Or are you in the market for new job opportunities? I was in this position 6 months ago, while I had to decide wether to stay in the same company or moving towards my next career step. It is never an easy decision and you can never be wrong. Wether you stick with the same or change for good, you will never know what would have happened if you decided otherwise.

Anyhow, it is a challenging decision, and you should always be ready and up for it. I mean, the more that you do on a day-to-day basis, the less that you will have to hurry once the time for change has come. So, keep in mind these 5 bullet points, and practice personal branding.

1. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

If you haven’t revised your LinkedIn profile since your last job, it’s time to make some updates. Rewrite your summary to include your current career objective, and ask colleagues to endorse you and provide recommendations that reflect your job search. Make sure your online resume includes all your newest accomplishments. If you don’t have a professional picture to add to your profile, it’s time to have one taken.

2. Update Your Social Media Profiles

It’s easy to forget to keep your social media profiles updated, especially when you have multiple accounts. Log on to each of your social media services and make sure your profile photo is current and flattering and your profile blurb is accurate. See if you can make your profiles subtly reflect your professional skills without reading like a job application; “I see your copy errors” is a good line for a Facebook profile, while “I have six years of copy editing experience and am looking for work” is too much.

While you’re at it, un-tag those unflattering or unwanted pics, and delete any posts or tweets that don’t reflect well on you or your candidacy. Plus, take good care of your privacy, each site has permissions for public or non-public posts, make sure to filter those, so you only show to the world what aligns with your profession.

3. Google Yourself

Google YourselfYou know your potential employer is going to Google you, so go ahead and Google yourself first. Ideally, your top results are reflections of your work and personality: they should include any articles or print media about your work at previous organizations as well as links to your LinkedIn, Facebook, and other accounts. If you have a professional blog, it should be within the first five links as well and clearly identifiable as your work.

If your Google search turns up negative results, consider a service that removes negative references and past mistakes on the Internet. Leaving your online presence more reflective of your current skills and abilities is a must

4. Make Sure Your Personal Life Is Out Of The Focus

Many people have personal blogs, Instagrams, or Tumblrs. It’s a good idea to use avatars for personal sites in order to keep your name associated with your professional work and your personal life out of the focus.

However, if you do use an avatar or online handle, make sure to disassociate it with anything you don’t want potential employers to see. You’d be surprised how many people use their Twitter handle as their OKCupid name, for example; and even if your interviewer doesn’t search far enough to make the connection, your new colleagues certainly will. Choose anonymous, unrelated handles for dating sites, diet sites, and anything else you don’t want your employer to see.

5. Write, Write and Write About Your Industry

Believe it or not, it’s relatively easy to get published on an online magazine’s blog section. Write a post about a discovery you made while working or your thoughts on industry trends, then submit it to Open Salon or the Huffington Post. If you know your industry reads certain blogs or online publications, submit to them as well. Remember to stay positive and write well of your industry; this isn’t just an opportunity to share your opinions, it’s an audition for future work.

As you may see this is a daily work, or monthly. Get the habit to have your skills and abilities updated and out to the world so you can be found for what you do best.

Key Takeaway: If anyone is looking to hire someone with your profile you should be found so you can get the offer, otherwise, someone else will get it. Stay on the radar

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