Congratulations on your new job. You worked hard to get it — you added your résumé to online databases, you networked both online and off, and you got your portfolio in tip-top shape. Now that you’re working, you don’t have to think about anything job-search related until the next time you’re looking. Right? Wrong.
Job searching can be a job in and of itself, and it’s understandable if you don’t want to look at your résumé again for a very long time. But there are benefits to continuing the work you started, even when you’re employed. It’ll make things easier when you’re looking for a new job again — whether that’s one month, six months or six years down the line.
Here are some tips for keeping your job-search resources up-to-date after getting a job:
Continue to update your résumé: Nothing’s worse than starting a new job search and realizing that you haven’t touched your résumé since you got your last job. Adding several years’ worth of experience to a résumé is no easy task, so avoid this situation by periodically updating your résumé. After you’re settled into your new position, add details about your new role and the responsibilities that go along with it. Continue to update it after major accomplishments, such as winning new business, getting a promotion or receiving an award or accolade. Sure, you’ll still need to make tweaks once you get serious about a new job search, but you’ll be thankful that you have a head start.
Don’t forget about your online profiles: Take the time to update your profiles on your professional social networks so your connections know of your whereabouts and to keep you fresh in front of potential recruiters. Add your new job title and any new skills or experience you’ve acquired. And as you update your résumé with new accomplishments, do the same to your profiles. Periodically updating your professional pages will make it less noticeable to your current employer if or when you do move into a more active job hunt. If suddenly you’re furiously making changes and soliciting recommendations, your employer might get suspicious.
Keep track of where you’ve posted your résumé: Many job-search websites let you upload your résumé to their database so employers who have jobs that might be a match can find you. Some companies also let job seekers share their résumés without applying for a particular job. Keep track of where you shared your résumé and what version has been shared. There’s still a chance you might be contacted for another position, and whether you’d consider the job or not, you don’t want to be caught by surprise.
Add your updated résumé to those databases: Most workers, even those who are happy at their job, are still open to hearing about new opportunities. In fact, according to a recent CareerBuilder study, 69 percent of workers say searching for new opportunities is part of their regular routine, and 35 percent are preparing for their next job within weeks of starting a new one. Whether or not you’re actively searching, about six months into your job search you should go back to those résumé databases and upload your most recent version. It never hurts to get contacted about another opportunity, and you want hiring managers to have updated information on your experience and newly acquired skills.
Save your successes: Got a praising email from a client? Received a glowing performance review? Secured media coverage for a new product you promoted? Save all of these accomplishments so you can add them to your portfolio. That way you avoid having to dig through months’ or years’ worth of emails or files to find things to add to your application or to reference during an interview.
Don’t stop networking: While some people may enjoy small talking at networking events or reaching out to strangers on online networks, most people would admit it’s not their favorite pastime. Yet you shouldn’t stop cold turkey once you start working. Networking is about more than just getting a job; it’s about building relationships with others in your industry and making valuable career connections. If you don’t need a job, now is the time to pay it forward. Offer to meet with that son of your friend’s uncle who wants to get into your line of business. Volunteer at that industry event. By helping others without asking for anything in return, they’ll be more willing to help you out when you need them down the road.