Many people count on the feeling of perceived security that can come from gainful employment. That makes sense, you have somewhere to go every day, you have a job title and perhaps most notably you are being compensated. However, this does not mean that one should feel insecure when they are between jobs. It’s not easy to maintain the feeling of security during the transition, but it is what’s best for your mental health and your career brand. Here are 3 areas to focus on in order to elevate your career brand touchpoints between jobs.
Being between roles can feel compromising. Take control of the narrative by putting thought into your transition story. For example, decide whether you are going to tell others about what precipitated your departure. If there were multiple layoffs, you may feel more comfortable including that in your story. It’s not that it’s ‘bad’ if you left because there were interpersonal issues with your manager, it’s just that it may not reflect well on your career brand to include that in what you relay to others. Be a good steward of your career brand. Decide what characteristics, skills and competencies you want to highlight to others and make sure some of those are reflected in your departure story. This story will be helpful for you to reflect on for your own esteem, it will be integral in networking and it will serve you well in interviews.
Skills, qualities and experience are key components of your career brand. It’s best to tell potential employers about these via your resume, in a profile and through accomplishment statements. It can be difficult to write about your accomplishments from a role when you are no longer in it. If you have access to them, it’s helpful to read performance reviews to reacquaint yourself with what you worked on and achieved. It can also be helpful to read postings you’re interested in and generate accomplishment statements that speak to the requirements for that role. The accomplishment statements are a concrete way to tell the reader about the skills and experience that are part of your career brand – and best of all, it’s done in a way where they can read about them in action.
Your LinkedIn Profile
The most public forum where you can elevate your career brand is via LinkedIn. Review tips and insights on optimizing your profile. Based on that information, you will likely find yourself improving your photo, re-working your headline, re-writing your ‘about’ section and asking other members for recommendations.
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It can be difficult to find your way when you have exited a role and are looking for that next great opportunity. During that time, it is so important to be mindful of how you portray your skills, qualities and experience. By keeping your career brand in mind while working on your transition story, resume and LinkedIn profile, you will strengthen your brand and hopefully the time between roles will be brief.