2017 is moments away. As with years past, the top of each New Year marks a new beginning. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery prophetically said; “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Now is the time to start preparing for your success.
As we outline some goals for the upcoming year, let’s start with a personal challenge to grow your resume by adding some additional honors that will help you stand out to a recruiting agent. These should be measurable milestones you can use to outline your skills. Crush a sales goal, get certified in (another) specific skill that can bring added value to your position and your company, or get that esteemed “employee of the month/ year” title. Remember, this is a critical opportunity to highlight your skills and how they could be applied practically to the company’s benefit.
I’ve mentored many entrepreneurs and employees on the soft skills needed to be successful in the marketplace. One of the most common questions I get when on the topic of resumes is, “Which format do I need to use – chronological, functional, combination, or targeted?” With each passing year, the consensus changes. The most widely used is chronological, but it is suggested you write to your audience and industry.
I personally favor the combination format and have two versions - a graphic edition (well, I am in marketing) with lots of colors, graphs, and eye-catching graphics (including my photo), and a standard text-only version, which focuses on key-word specific headlines and language. The first is ideal when it is being handed to the hiring manager in person, the latter option is best used when uploading your resume to medium and large companies that use software programs to sift through thousands of resumes. It’s important to mirror your language to that in the job posting. The more relevant your keywords are to the job posting, the higher your chances of getting a callback.
If you need help organizing your resume, The One Stop Career Center in Las Vegas is a great free resource to help you with writing the perfect resume. You can reach them at nvcareercenter.org/.
Understandably, not everyone is vying for his or her dream job. Perhaps you are already with a company that you love. No matter what side of the preverbal table you are on, let’s spend a few minutes getting Q-1 of 2017 organized to set the tone for the year.
Have a plan. Set short and long term goals for the year.
Whether you’re a start-up or an existing enterprise, nothing will lend to your success more than a business plan. Most entrepreneurs shy away from this critical step because they are intimidated by the process or don’t know where to start. The first step is to outsource the task (see systems below) and let someone more experienced to do the heavy lifting so you can focus on your business. Your job is to manage the content and make sure your vision comes through.
o Contact your local university or college and seek help from professors/students in the business school.
o Hire a virtual assistant to help. This is a great way to get your business plan done professionally and very inexpensively.
o Work with a consulting company.
o Download a business plan template online.
o Set monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals, and track progress along the way.
Focus on task and time management.
“NOT-to do lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance.” – Tim Ferris, 4 Hour Work Week
We are all guilty of boasting in accomplishment after a long day of checking off items on our “to-do” list. Often times these items are low priority, time consuming tasks that aren’t generating income. Focus your energy on two or three critical income generating tasks per day. All other tasks should be delegated to an assistant or employee.
Avoid distractions. Regain your most valuable asset (time) with helpful online tools like toodledo.com and rescuetime.com.
Systems! Systems! Systems!
Behind every successful business is an intricate network of systems. Notice I said systems, not people. People can be unreliable, expensive, and replaceable, regardless of skill set or education level. A successful business must rely on as many automated and low management systems as possible to operate efficiently and with minimal effort. These can include sales and marketing funnels, instructional videos and trainings, inventory management, employee handbooks and HR materials, and social media management (such as Hootsuite.com).
Train for a marathon.
Just as a runner is prepping for a marathon he has one goal in mind: speed. Practice and proficiency nets speed and efficiency. Train yourself to maximize each work hour and get more done next hour than you did the previous.
Get involved in the community.
I am a firm believer and advocate of being a servant leader and enriching the community by volunteering and mentoring. Volunteering should always be at the top of your planning list. Not only does it shed a philanthropic light on your brand, you walk away positively impacting your community, fostering new relationships, mentoring future leaders, and helping those less fortunate. Join VYP’s Community Outreach Program to get involved.
Vegas Young Professionals is an organization committed to supporting those in our community willing to take risks and pioneer innovation. We are a group of like-minded individuals with the dream to do more. I’m happy to share any insight and encouragement with you or if you have any questions on how to get started or want to share your success story, email me at Marketing@VegasYP.com.