In the new year, renew your career

By Cindy Guzman
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect and think of ways to improve areas in your life. As 2016 approaches and you write your New Year’s Resolution list, why not add “Renew Your Career” to the list and start thinking strategically about how you will renew or refresh your career. Here are two strategic ways to get you started in the New Year:
Keep your resume updated. Your resume is the most strategic document you will write during your job search. If you are not job searching, keeping an updated resume ready-to-go in 2016 will keep you on track with your New Year’s Resolution.
You never know when the perfect job will appear on a job board with a 3-day timeline to submit all of your documents. Keep your resume updated and you will have no problem meeting the submission deadline.
While writing or updating your resume, think of ways to pass the 10-second scan test. This test refers to how long a hiring manger will look at your resume before deciding to either keep reading or place it in “do not call back” pile. A strategic way to pass this test is to have consistent formatting without too little or too much white space. Good formatting leaves the right amount of white space on your resume. Too much white space and the resume may say that you do not have a lot of experience to offer. Too little white space and the resume may say you do not know how to be succinct.
Formatting is one of the main reasons hiring managers either toss your resume or keep your resume.
Learn how to negotiate salary. This skill is a valuable tool to add to your career toolkit in 2016 whether you are negotiating your salary for job offer or you are asking for an increase in salary at your current job. For either instance, there is a time and place to ask and you must prepare before you ask.
Job seekers should never mention salary during the interview or you might price yourself out of the job. The hiring manager will think you are more interested in money than the position. The best time is to negotiate is when the offer is made.
Be willing to negotiate within a salary range based on years of experience, education, and the cost of living where the job is located.
Here are a few websites that have salary calculators: or
For professionals asking for a higher salary, a good time to ask for a raise is during an annual performance review or during after you completed a successful project. Prepare for the meeting by writing a proposal that outlines why you deserve a raise.
The proposal should tell answer the what (your accomplishments), who (successful collaborations), when (how you always make meet deadlines) and how (much of an increase). Do your research and find out what other people in your position make at other companies or organizations. Practice your negotiations pitch with a friend or family member. Just like an interview, you need to practice, practice, and practice!
Cindy Guzman owns One of A Kind Career Coaching, providing career development assistance to both veteran and civilian clients. A former director of the Office of Career Services at Texas A&M University Central Texas,


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