Time to Invest … In Your Career

Here at JumpStart, we talk a lot about investing. We’ve even launched a $10 million seed fund that will solely invest in women and minority-led tech startups. This is very important work, but the concept of investment can also be applied outside the pure dollars and cents.

Personal investment is also a key aspect of success for a jobseeker. Luckily, it doesn’t take venture capital funding to make yourself an ideal candidate. But it does take an investment of time and energy.

With that in mind, here are 3 key personal investment opportunities to grow your career.

Invest in your online resume
Whether you are a social media fan or not, it’s not going away.  LinkedIn is how people in the business world see you – so, for the purposes of your job search your LinkedIn profile is you. If it doesn’t exist, neither do you.

Make sure you have an error-free profile that matches your actual resume as closely as possible. And remember, LinkedIn’s recommendation section is a great place for your references and contacts to brag about you. In fact, it is rapidly taking the place of the “references available upon request” section of old-school resumes.

Invest in networking
You hear it all the time, but the most successful job seekers look at every conversation as an opportunity to network. Getting involved in local organizations and volunteer opportunities is good for the community, but it’s also good for you. That’s because the professional networking relationships built around these experiences carry a lot more weight than blind outreach.

Investing in networking also means building relationships before you actually need or want something for yourself. It’s a two-way street, and it always helps to give a little to your network before you ask for something as big as a new job.

Invest in your interviewing skills
In a way, every professional conversation is an interview. Whether you are having a coffee meeting about a potential career change, or heading into your final round of screening for that great new job, you are always being evaluated and vice versa.

Once you see that every interaction is an interview-in-progress, you realize that every professional conversation is an opportunity to perfect a polished, yet natural approach. Investing the time to prepare for each of these interactions and debrief yourself afterward will help you every step of the way, from first-impression to salary negotiation.

You may not think of your career path in the same way venture capitalists do, but no matter whose shoes you’re wearing – the right investment at the right time can accelerate opportunity and lead to success.

Start making your personal investment today by visiting the JumpStart job board to find open positions at great companies all across Northeast Ohio.