Opportunity’s timing is not always as opportune as its root word. Sometimes your next job prospect can come up unexpectedly, and being ready for that at all times is key to moving up the ladder in your career. Below are a few suggestions for keeping yourself prepared for when opportunity knocks:
- Keep your resume up-to-date. If it’s been awhile since you updated it, make sure your work experience is presented well. Review with trusted business associates and ask for feedback. Hiring a professional resume writer may be a good investment.
- Always be willing to listen. When someone contacts you with an opportunity, you might not be ready to leave your current position. However, you never know when your job situation may change and you might be looking for what comes next.
- Be open-minded. Your next opportunity may not be what you originally had in mind. It could be in an entirely different industry; or at a small company versus a large company; or a consulting versus direct hire role. You never know where one opportunity may lead.
- Build your network. Don’t wait until it’s absolutely necessary to begin building your professional network. You may be happy with where you are in your career. However, you never know how someone may help you in the future. Also, by networking and sharing referrals, you can help others advance in their careers. Build your connections by attending conferences, local associations or networking events. Keep your LinkedIn page fresh with your experience as well as connections.
- Stay up-to-date on industry news. Bookmark web sites with news or blogs to stay on top of issues and trends. Download related news apps or tools to your smartphone. If you are on Twitter, follow people who tweet about stories relevant to your industry. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even start your own blog to showcase your knowledge.
- Connect with trusted recruiters who specialize in your industry. But before you reach out, do your homework. Keep in mind some recruiters work in an industry vertical while others in a specific geography. For example, here at OnBoard Recruitment, our niche is analytics, data and technology for professionals at the senior to executive career level. To find trusted recruiters, ask for referrals from others in your niche. Review recruiters’ LinkedIn profiles and company web sites to make sure you are finding the partners who can best represent you. Be selective and do not mass email your resume to recruiting firms.
Since at least 60 percent of jobs are not posted, keeping your options open and staying in tune with your professional network becomes all the more important. If you remain diligent, you’re more likely to land your dream position when opportunity knocks.