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10 Tips on How to Prepare Yourself and Obtain a Promotion

A young black man sitting at his laptop celebrating something with a fist pump.

It is important to climb your career ladder with purpose and be prepared for opportunities you may seek or those that even come looking for you.

Are you ready to take that next step but you’re not sure how on how to prepare? Though promotions do come your way with hard work, dedication and time– you should be proactive about your future in advance.

Here are 10 tips to help you think ahead and prepare you to land your next promotion:

  1. When applying for a promotion, your resume is examined next to the vacancy announcement. Make sure all of the experiences and skills listed in your resume match the position you are applying for.
  2. Your accomplishments are important in your resume AND in your interview. They help you get the job, set you apart from your competition, boost your rating, gain confidence, help you get best qualified and referred to a supervisor.
  3. Make a list of five to seven different responsibilities you are required to do: Supervisor: Instructor, Team Leader, Database Administrator, Research / Analyst, etc. Make sure you can connect each responsibility with your past experiences.
  4. Remember that using keywords can result in referrals, selections, and interviews
  5. You can find keywords in the vacancy announcement, knowledge, skills, and abilities, and specialized experience section.
  6. Use the outline format resume; small paragraphs, keywords, and accomplishments, highlighting one year of specialized experience.
  7. Make your boss aware that you want the promotion.
  8. Display commitment to the position you are applying to.
  9. Be able to show concrete, quantifiable contributions to the organization– this can help tip the scales in your favor when it comes time for a promotion.
  10. Create a strong, powerful personal brand.

If you are interested in more details on obtaining promotions, specifically in the federal government, visit the OPM website.

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