For many, the new year offers a fresh start and an opportunity for reflection and goal setting. It’s no surprise then that I’ve been working with several clients over the last few weeks on their resumes, cover letters, and job interview preparation. While you may not expect a person who designs wedding invitations to also offer resume review, I love being able to offer this and other professional services.
In fact, the best part about starting Michelle Junot Creative is that I get to work on a variety of projects that use all aspects of my unique skillset, whether that’s designing a one-year old’s birthday party invitation or creating an excel spreadsheet that will streamline a small business’s project management (more on this soon!).
So, for today’s post, I’m focusing on some of my best advice for those looking for their next career step or those who just like to keep their options open.
Create a Career Logbook
It’s considered best practice to keep your resume updated, but for most, that means updating your job experience with a recent promotion or transition. That’s a good thing to do, but I like to suggest a slightly different practice to my clients. Create a Word document, a Google doc, an email draft, or even the notepad on your phone to use as a career logbook.*
You’ll use this logbook to take down quick notes on a more regular basis. Just assigned an exciting new project? Jot down a few notes about the process along the way. Handle a difficult customer interaction in a way you’re proud of? Write down the basic details while they’re fresh in your brain. Complete a major goal? Note the metrics you used and the final outcomes.
Your entries do not need to be long or formal. They simply need to help you remember key aspects of your performance and experiences when it’s time to update your resume and cover letter or prepare for an interview.
Benefits of Logging Regularly
Have you ever been overwhelmed by the prospect of creating a resume, or even worse, a cover letter? By taking notes on your work as it happens, you’re ensuring you're prepared to do the following:
+ Present specific job descriptions and data on your resume
+ Showcase your expertise through compelling examples in a cover letter
+ Share relevant experiences when asked to “Tell me about a time…”
In essence, you're creating a study guide for yourself that will help you create effective materials and prepare thoroughly for any interview.
Things to Note and Track
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few prompts to help you think about what you want to keep track of:
+ Difficult situations - how you handled them and what you learned
+ Feedback, positive or negative, from supervisors, coworkers, and clients
+ New or changed job responsibilities
+ Certifications or continued education courses
+ Volunteer or leadership positions
+ New goals or aspirations
While this may be a new concept, it’s worth trying. The worst thing that will happen is you spend 5-10 minutes each week reflecting on your work and goals.
Ways Michelle Junot Creative Can Help Your Job Search
Applying for a new job or figuring out your next career move can be overwhelming, but MJC can help. I’ve been on many search committees throughout my career, and I’ve also helped countless individuals prepare for their next job in a variety of industries including education, development, administration, aviation, counseling, and more.
Below are just a few of the services offered:
+ Resume and cover letter writing and design
+ Resume and cover letter review and copy editing
+ Interview preparation
+ Presentation design, review, and preparation
+ Portfolio review and editing
Learn more about the ways Michelle Junot Creative can help you with your next role. Contact us to get started today.
* You and I both know the term logbook refers specifically to travel via ship or plane. However, when I first wrote this, I called it a professional journal, and it sounded so lame even to me, that I didn’t think I’d get anyone to read further. So here we are. It’s a logbook to chronicle the journey of your career…your professional voyage. Whatever. Call it what you will. Just do the work.