Meaghan Marshall Career Services - Resume Writing Services. Interview Coaching

By Meaghan Marshall, Nov 27 2017 01:58AM


Many companies will conduct end of year performance reviews however this review is about taking a look at your career and not just your performance in your current position.


Even if you are happy at work, the approaching end of the year provides a great excuse to take some time to reflect on your career, evaluate, and consider what you would like to achieve in the coming year.


Step One: Where are you in your career?


Start my giving thought to where you are in your career, how far have you come and where you see yourself going?


Is the job you have now the one you imagined you would be doing when you started out? Is there more you want to achieve? Are you satisfied? Do you feel motivated? Do you use your strengths and talents in your current role? Did you set any goals for your career this year? Did you achieve them?


If you feel you need to make a change, big or small, start to give some thought to the experience or skills you need in order to take the next step.


Step Two: Review 2017


What professional goals did you set yourself for 2017? Did you achieve them? Did you set goals? Did your focus shift? What did you do well? Where did you fall short? Consider why you didn’t achieve certain goals?


Review your year and determine what didn’t work and what you can learn for 2018. What goals did you achieve? Why do you think you achieved these goals? What kept you motivated? Again, what can you take from this to make 2018 a triumph?


If you didn’t have any goals set for 2017, consider your successes in the past year and identify what helped you achieve these accomplishments. Was it people, your motivation, a new approach, positive thinking, certain actions? What can you learn for 2018?


Learn from your mistakes in 2017 but don’t dwell on them. Take what you have learnt from 2017 to make 2018 more successful.


Step Two: Record your Achievements


While looking back over 2017, take the time to recognize and revel in your achievements. What have you achieved over the past year? What education and training did you complete? Have you been promoted or taken on extra responsibilities? What goals did you accomplish? What exceptional feedback have you received?

Now write your accomplishments down. Keeping a record of your accomplishments is good practice. It can be difficult to recall examples of our achievements when required to for resume writing, job interviews or performance reviews but if you make the effort to keep a record you will always be prepared.


Step Three: Visualise Your Future


Drawing from your reflection on your career and 2017, consider your next career step? Take some time to visualise for 2018 and beyond what you want from your career.


What do you want to be doing more of? What do you want to be doing less of? Do you want to maintain where you are now?


Let yourself imagine your ultimate career dream.

Step Three: Create a Plan for 2018


Now it is time to think about how you will get to the career future you are visualised.


Make a list of your career goals. Include both the long term and those for the coming year.


Now break the goals down into a list of what you need to do to achieve these goals. What actions do you need to take? What did you learn from 2017 to help you achieve your goals? Do you need any additional training? What new skills do you need? Do you need to find a new employer?


Your next steps might include gaining additional experience, taking on additional responsibilities to increase your skill set, building your network, changing employers, changing jobs, additional training or education, seeking assistance or additional resources.


Make sure you set a timeline for accomplishing your goals.



With your plan for 2018 in place you can be sure you are starting your new year with a renewed focus on you and your career.


Additional Tip: It is a good idea to take the time at the end of the year to also update your resume and LinkedIn profile. This way you can be sure your information is up to date and your accomplishments are recorded. Even if you’re not planning to leave your employer it is good practice to have your resume current.


The following blog posts may also assist you with developing your career goals:


Visualise Your Ideal Work Day



Your Retirement Speech – Write Your Career Story


By Meaghan Marshall, May 27 2017 02:22PM


If you are busy putting together your resume, and have just googled “infographic resume” and scrolled through the image results, you are probably feeling a little intimidated.


There are some amazing eye catching resumes there, and you can easily get overwhelmed imagining your resume landing in a pile with these.


It is a competitive job market and understandably candidates are looking for creative ways to stand out. Let’s take a closer look.


One thing you need to know, is that the infographic format is incompatible with applicant tracking systems. If you think the company will be first scanning your resume with a tracking system then the infographic resume is probably not the way to go.


A common element on the infographic resume is the use of pie charts and bar graphs. Data is good. Providing a potential employer with measurable results is exactly what we need to do. Showing key metrics in an engaging way is a good idea, but turning information on your resume into an image for simply cosmetic reasons isn’t.


An example is using a line or bar graph for your skills. It looks visually interesting, but listing a skill and then highlighting that you are only 50% proficient, is not very persuasive. It isn’t even persuasive to have a 100% bar. Most people are going to colour in their bar to 100%. So, unless the data you provide is actually measurable then it is unlikely to offer any value or be persuasive to a potential employer.


As always, the best way to demonstrate your skills, is to provide hard evidence. A testimonial from a colleague, an award celebrating collaboration, or share a team achievement.


Another pitfall of an infographic resume, is that they are a static document. Unless you are a graphic designer or have good knowledge of design software, once created, the infographic resume is more difficult to update, or even just tweak to target a specific role or company.


There are some advantages of an infographic resume. The obvious, is that for a candidate in a creative field, the infographic resume offers an immediate opportunity to showcase your creativity and design skills.


Another benefit of the infographic resume, is the flexibility in formatting. Modern careers don’t fit neatly into a chorological sequence. Many of us are no longer employed in a traditional way. We might be holding multiple part time jobs, freelancing, or contracting for multiple employers. The way we are employed today doesn’t always fit into a traditional chronological resume. The infographic resume can allow you to visually represent a non-traditional career path.


For most us, the ideal approach is a compromise between the highly visual graphic resume and plain text. Keeping your resume in MS Word, but adding visual elements including charts, graphs, colour, call-out boxes, and breakaway text to increase visual appeal and impact, but also allowing the resume to be updated for each application, and to be guaranteed successful scanning by the APS.


Always keep your focus on quality content. Use examples from your past performance to demonstrate your skills, and where possible always quantify your achievements.


Another thing to keep in mind is that your resume should be integrated with your online profile. You have the opportunity within these tools, LinkedIn, social media, or a personal website, to showcase your creativity and give additional insight to your personality.


If you are in a creative field and using an infographic resume, you should make sure the content of your resume is also strong. Don’t assume the quality of your graphic design will get you over the line. You should still highlight your achievements and target your resume specifically to your desired role.



If you found this blog helpful you might also like:


Introduction to LinkedIn



Guide to LinkedIn Etiquette



Job Search Homework






Connect with us

facebook (3) Google+ Twitter pin red email enveope

Subscribe to Blog

RSS Career Blog - Resume Writing, Job Interview, Career Advice, Inspiration

Providing inspiration, advice, resources and strategies to help you achieve goals and career fulfilment.