This year we begin refreshed and ready to take on new changes. If you are also looking to evolve at a professional level, then you are in the right place to find the keys for making the change and finding a job.

Here are 5 tips that will help your professional development, to become more competitive in the job market.

1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile

Too often we don’t take the time to update our LinkedIn profile even though we know it’s important. It is vital to have it on hand, being that it’s our cover letter when the time comes to cast our net in the job search. Also, it is an important element that will enable a talent hunter to see more of your resume and choose you as a potential candidate.

In any case, since we’re looking for a new job, having an active LinkedIn profile is highly recommended. Many companies or recruiters may be looking for a Word resume just like yours and thousands of great opportunities could be passing you by.

2. Listen to podcasts during your free time, while traveling or playing sports

Listening to podcasts is a great idea for learning a language, understanding more about a topic and bringing yourself up-to-date every day.

With iTunes or audioboom.com you can download thousands of interesting podcasts that can help you learn new things, stay informed about the latest trends in your field and give you a competitive edge when it comes time to look for a job.

3. Create a business card and attend conferences

For every employee, communication and the professional network that we build over time, are the fundamental elements that allow us to grow on a professional level. Often we depend on these tools for obtaining a job, or that someone might recommend us for a certain position.

All over the world there are various events for employment, fashion, technology and science, to name a few, that take place throughout the year. This is where millions of professionals go and where we would have the opportunity to meet them. This is not just an opportunity for us to find out what is going on in a field, but also a chance to identify new job offers and create a network that can help us professionally. Make your business card original by including a link to your online resume and take advantage of the opportunity to pass it around and let people get to know you.

This could be the gateway to new opportunities and professional development.

4. Take online courses

With the rhythm of work and day to day living that we have these days, it may be difficult to find time for new things. After finishing our studies, all we think about is work. Then, after working for a few years, we miss studying and have the desire to further our education.

Thanks to advances in technology, we now have access to a multitude of online courses that can be completed from anywhere. If you wish to enhance your profile with a course that is lacking, change your job position, or learn something new, these online courses are ideal for furthering education and achieving professional development. Many of these online courses include a certificate upon completion. This element will make your studies more complete and help you to have an even more competitive resume when the time comes to find a new job.

These courses are synonymous with professional growth. They will allow you to evolve in your career and improve your resume so you can have a better job in the future.

5. Analyze how you spend your time

This activity is key if you wish to be successful in your profession, save time and earn efficiently.

Organize your day starting with the priorities. Take care of urgent matters first before moving on to a new task. Then work on secondary activities for the rest of the day and allow 3-4 hours a week for reflection and developing new projects.

Time is a valuable and precious resource that one must know how to manage in order to become more competitive and have a better working rhythm. If you learn how to organize your time well, you will have the freedom to brainstorm, develop new ideas and get involved with new projects that will change your routine and motivate you on a professional level. That way you will feel happier with your job while significantly reducing your stress level.