After a long career with my former company, I recently transitioned to a new position in a different industry. While I had experience moving between various roles in my previous workplace, these changes usually occurred during restructuring phases, which often had unique application processes. When presented with an external opportunity, I realized I wasn’t adequately prepared for the application process and the demands of applying for a new job.

Whether in a new career or an opportunity to advance internally, having the pieces ready to jump on a new opportunity can save you time and help set you apart. When you are actively looking for new opportunities, you likely have taken the time to update your resume, prepare cover letters and practice your interview skills, but are you ready for new and unexpected opportunities? 

Keep Your Resume Updated 

It may sound obvious, but many of us only update our resumes when we’re unhappy and seeking change. There are so many reasons to stay on top of your CV and to regularly check in and update your resume. 

Having a base resume ready allows you to quickly jump on opportunities, as well as evaluate where you have been and where you are going in your career. You can record accomplishments in real time and make sure you don’t overlook highlighting a success. While you will slightly adjust your resume based on the job, having a strong base resume that is up to date will save you a lot of time. 

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile can be as important as your resume. Make sure it has no spelling errors and all up-to-date work experience, including all industry certifications you have, and request some recommendations to highlight your skills.

You can also add more information than what you share on your resume, allowing you to highlight skills and experience even more. As many companies recruit through LinkedIn, simply updating and optimizing your profile can invite more opportunities. 

Practice Your Interview Skills 

Interviews can be nerve-wracking, even for the most confident candidates. Being out of practice can amplify these feelings. Don’t be afraid to practice; you can even role-play with someone you trust. If that person has experience on a hiring committee, even better. Feeling at ease while answering standard questions can boost your confidence when facing more challenging ones. 

Don’t hesitate to bring notes with some accomplishments you want to hit on, and don’t forget to share the results when asked a situational question and how you handled it. Have a vision of the type of place you want to work and be prepared with the questions to ask.

Even if you’re content in your current role, never miss out on an opportunity that piques your interest. You may end up with a better career path at a new company, a tool to help you negotiate in your current positions, or at the very least, the chance to keep your skills sharp.      

Cidne Christensen is the Director of Advancement for the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Utah. As a long term fundraiser with a 13 year career in philanthropy, she is proud to be able to help patients, caregivers, and communities. 

Originally from New Mexico, Cidne grew up in Utah. She attended Southern Utah and  graduated with honors in marketing and economics. While attending SUU she did study abroad semesters in Salzburg, Austria and Galway, Ireland, and did an internship in Washington DC.

Cidne is an enthusiastic Real Salt Lake supporter and has been known to follow the team on away trips. She is also an outdoor enthusiast, athlete, and avid traveler.  

Cidne currently lives in Salt Lake City with her husband Steven and their three dogs Dante, Jack, and three legged Guinness.