Only one third of federal employees reported being satisfied with the opportunity to get a better job within their organizations on the most recent Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Are you or should you be looking to make a move in 2018? Regardless, here are some 2018 career resolutions as another year gets underway.

  • Should you be looking for a job? Is your network up-to-date? If you are even only vaguely thinking about looking for a new job, you need to start reaching out to your contacts – and it’s best to do this before you need them or call on them.
  • Does your LinkedIn Profile reflect who you are? Do you have a personalized headline? A picture? A Profile Summary that is key-word rich? Yes, I know I harp on the importance of LinkedIn; it does really matter—especially in seeking private sector employment. Its importance is growing in the federal realm as well.
  • Are you convinced that should stay (or leave) your current position? Is this a thought-out decision or a “knee-jerk” reaction?
  • Is your resume up-to-date? Even if you’re not looking for a job right this minute, you should be prepared with an updated document in case someone asks to see your resume.
  • Does your resume reflect your achievements? And do your achievements reflect the “so what?”—how you added value / made a difference to your employer?
  • Does your resume include metrics to give your work context? Without metrics, readers of your resume don’t know how large your budget is, how many people your teams have, how many customers your support, or how many transactions you process in a month.
  • Does your resume include the key words for the positions you’re thinking about (and currently in)? Applicant Trackign Software (ATS) is rampant in the private sector; most resumes are screened for key words—if you don’t have them, your resume likely won’t be read. If you’re pursuing federal employment, reviewers are resume (humans, not machines) are looking for the key words too.
  • Are your skills up-to-date? If not, what are you doing to close your skills gaps?
  • Is your assessment of your value consistent with those of supervisors and colleagues? Talk to trusted colleagues, carefully review your performance rating, or think about using a 360 feedback tool to get some candid advice about where you excel and where more work might be needed.

The new year should be an opportunity for self-reflection and forward movement. What do you want in 2018?

Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.