The start of a new year is a great time to revist your marketing materials, whether you are planning to stay in your current role or make a change. I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions but I have learned that January quickly becomes February, and before we know it, months have slipped by and we haven't updated our resumes, revamped our on-line profiles or created that personal website we've been meaning to start.  So, it's time to stop making excuses and start managing our personal brands in the new cyber world in which we all live. It's a big, scarey place and we have to get a grip on it. 

A few things to do this month:

1. Send happy new year emails or cards to everyone you missed with holiday cards.  Just when you think you have thought of everyone, four or five cards show up in your mailbox on December 30th or so. Your wishes will have more punch now that everyone else's cards have been put aside.

2. Sit down with your resume and add all the great things you accomplished in 2013, including outcomes of your efforts, new roles and responsibilities, awards and certifications.  Read your resume out loud - yes, I said out loud - it's the best way to catch odd phrasing or run-on sentences, or repeated repeated (oh my) words.  Freshen it up by deleting really old content and add content that demonstrates new thinking and new ideas.

3. Check out all your on-line profiles and update them to ensure consistency with your strategic messaging.  Congratulate all the people who got new jobs or got promoted or retired, invite all the people you met over the holidays to join your e-networks, and resist the urge to post all your holiday party photos on your Facebook page. 

4. Just start your personal website - with Workfolio of course.  Turn off some sections, like the BLOG, until you're ready to develop content, and get to work on the sections that help telegraph what you want the world to know about you.  Keep it clear, concise, and compelling.  And have fun with it.  I do.

5. Ask trusted friends and colleagues for feedback on your marketing and career materials: their perspective is worthwhile.  You do not have to agree with their input, nor do you have to make changes based on their comments, but it's really helpful to check their perception against your own.  Mull over their comments and incorporate whatever little gems they toss your way. It's your career and your decision about what is helpful and what is not.    

So by the end of January you will have checked some of these 5 items off your list, and you will feel so good about whatever you have done to freshen up your on-line presence, enhance your resume, and start moving forward with your own Workfolio personal website.  Who knows, you may just become a fan of New Year's resolutions.