Be prepared for your next professional move.

calm interview

The fact is that even if you're not actively looking for another job, you're open to growth opportunities, and, of course, more money. A recent survey by Jobvite found that 41% of 30-39 year-olds see their current job as a stepping stone. If you're in the tech industry, you're likely to change jobs every one to five years. Just in case someone might be hunting for someone just like you, it pays to be prepared for your next move. Here are some key steps you should take:

1. Make sure that the content and profiles in your social media networks are complete, consistent, and up to date... and appropriate for public consumption. This includes primarily Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Thirty percent of job seekers in the tech industry, according to Jobvite, are constantly keeping their profiles up to date on Twitter, on the bus or train commuting to work, and looking for job postings. And you thought they were checking their e-mails!

2. Keep your résumé up to date. You may want to strike while the iron's hot if a job posting comes along that you want to jump on. Remember that for every high-level job posting, a hiring manager receives an average of 200 résumés. Your résumé is part of your personal brand, so make sure that it distinguishes you, not only in the content, but by how it's designed and organized. Six-page résumés with the names, descriptions, and day-to-day activities of every company you've worked for, even if short-lived, in a Times Roman typeface (no less), are not very impressive, and show that you haven't taken the time to keep your résumé current and relevant, so that a recruiter or hiring manager can determine fairly easily that you're the person they're looking for.

3. Never EVER EVER have a typo in your résumé or your cover letter. No matter how smart you are, it's amazing how many typos just slip by undetected. This includes inconsistent parts of speech, punctuation, grammar and misspellings. By preparing early and thoroughly, you can avoid dashing something off that may be summarily discarded in the round file. With this said, many professionals, unless you're a professional writer, journalist or English major, are not writers and do not see errors that stand out like a sore thumb to a hiring manager. It's worth seeking the help of a professional who can review, correct, and polish your résumé.

4. Think about your personal brand and what makes you stand out. There may be some achievements in your résumé that set you apart, or there may be areas where you excelled versus your peers or the industry average that aren't in your résumé at all. Or, there may some special awards or honors you received that deserve more than a mere mention at the bottom of your résumé. This is where the addition of an infographic résumé can make you shine. It's a relatively new concept for résumés that is attracting the interest of hiring managers. Who wouldn't want visual relief from 200 black & white mind-numbing résumés!  The use of meaningful graphics to showcase quantifiable information will resonate with someone who is evaluating candidates based on their relevant experience, delivery of results, unique talents and contributions to their companies, as well as showing an engaging story about the candidate. A breath of fresh air, for sure.

5. It's O.K. to seek professional help. In this case, we mean it's O.K. to admit that you can't do it all by yourself.  Many professionals recognize that, as good as they are at their jobs, they are not equipped, nor interested, nor have the time to get prepared for their next career move. Merit by Sight™ is a company that is solely dedicated to helping professionals and active job seekers prepare for their next move and is a "one-stop shop" for all of the elements that create your personal brand and those that are addressed in this article. Get prepared with the help of Merit by Sight's team of business and graphic design professionals by contacting them at meritbysight.com. As the saying goes, "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet."