With so much career advice available online it’s challenging to know which pieces to incorporate.  So, to make it a bit less daunting, we’ve compiled what we think are the five best career tips for young professionals.  Here you go!

1.     Find where your interests and skills intersect.

The difference between finding a job and a career is often how well the work aligns with your interests. Spend some time considering your hobbies, educational background, and current skill set. Don’t think there could be a job like that? New digital telecommunication technologies and the advent of social media have shifted the job market considerably in the last decade, creating new career opportunities each year. Navigating today’s job market comes with further considerations. For help, refer to this guide on Job Hunting Trends in 2019.

2.    Create a roadmap for your dream career.

Take your long-term career goal then break it apart until you have every day, actionable items. Doing this gives you a manageable way forward. Use each step of this process to understand how you need to develop your skill set, portfolio, and resume.

3.    Frame your resume in terms of outcomes.

Employers care about results. Most student and recent-graduate resumes look the same: a small amount of general work experience and skills cleverly rebranded as something hopefully more marketable. Instead of trying to upsell yourself, measure your work outcomes in tangible, quantifiable ways. It’s much more effective.

4.    Create your own website to consolidate your work portfolio.

A website gives you a free space to showcase to maintain a dynamic version of your resume neatly. If possible, register a domain that includes your name (first, last, initials, or some combination of the three).  Upload work projects, education information, and any other examples of your work. If you don’t have many work projects in your portfolio, use personal projects. Categorize the sections of your website clearly so hiring managers and potential clients (for freelance projects) can easily find the content most relevant to them.

5.    Understand employer benefits.

When weighing different job offers, it’s not enough to just consider the salaries. It is incredibly important to understand exactly what benefits each employer offers. Some key benefits to look for are a 401(k) with an employer match, health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, paid leave, and employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs). 401(k)s are tax-advantaged retirement plans, taking money directly from your paycheck. An employer match will make those retirement funds grow even more quickly. Weigh different healthcare plan options between corporations carefully as medical bills can pose a serious financial burden. An ESPP is a program that allows employees to use a portion of their paychecks to purchase their company’s stock (often at a discount).

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