Now that you’ve got your network working for you, it’s time to tackle updating your resume and social media profiles. Take small steps toward each of these—it’s a lot, and the work can be emotional.
Update your resume with extra attention to what you accomplished in your last job. If you’ve left on less-than-stellar terms, it may be hard to remember the good bits, so start small. Maybe one person once told you you’re a good listener—put that on the resume! (“Received positive feedback regarding high quality of my active listening skills.”) Then start thinking about other times you were commended or know you did good work, times you excelled, times you had someone else’s back. These don’t have to sound great at first. Just throw them onto your resume as you think of them, and come back to the document later to polish and edit.
Social media profiles can be intimidating, too. If LinkedIn is where your folks hang out, be sure to note that you’re a professional in the field, rather than just having your headline read “seeking new opportunities.” Demonstrate your skills and the value you would add to an organization, and list what you are looking for next in specific terms. If your photo is outdated, find a new one or take on yourself. Try to avoid shots with your family or friends—but also be aware that there are many marketers who are of the opinion that a head-shot of you and your cat or dog makes you look more appealing and trustworthy! (I don’t know if this is true of horses and rabbits and parrots, but as long as your face is clearly visible, it’s your call.)
If it’s normal for your industry, you can also update your online portfolio or add projects to your Instagram. Just make sure nothing you’re using belongs to your former employer, of course.
Finally, I know it can be tempting, but try not to complain about your previous employer on Facebook. I speak from personal experience when I tell you that it’s not worth it. This isn’t to say that your feelings aren’t valid—I’ll tell you my story tomorrow—but it is to say that social media is not the place for complaints like this. Stuff that hits cyperspace has an annoying tendency to stay there forever, and we don’t want anything to come and bite you in the butt later on.