Climbing the Corporate Ladder, Part 2: Implementing Strategies for Career Advancement


Jul 1, 2024 | Career Advancement

Note: This is a 2-part series on career advancement. In part 1 of this series, we discussed how to develop a career plan so that your career advancement aspirations aren’t just wishful thinking.

From pinpointing your long-term goals and assessing your readiness to putting a timeline in place to achieve those goals, you’ve now laid a solid foundation for your career advancement journey.

While most of the steps you’ve taken until this point were mostly related to internal work (i.e. self-reflection, goal-setting, and other personal development activities), now it’s time to shift gears and focus on the external factors that complement the internal work you’ve done. In this part, we’ll talk about implementing career advancement strategies to propel your career forward.

Enhance your visibility

It’s not uncommon for employees to have been working for years at the same company, but still be relatively “unknown” to the decision-makers in their organization. In fact, many are comfortable with working hard behind the scenes, and as such, don’t proactively seek visibility. While being a “silent achiever” is certainly admirable, it won’t help in the pursuit of a promotion.

With that being the case, if the above sounds like you, it’s time to start stepping into the spotlight. Here are a few ways to do that:

Network proactively inside and outside of your organization

Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Instead, be proactive in reaching out and connecting with colleagues, mentors, and industry professionals–both within and outside of your organization. This will expand your circle of influence and allow for more career development opportunities to come your way.

Attend company events and join employee resource groups

If you haven’t been doing so previously, make an effort to attend company-sponsored gatherings, such as team-building activities, holiday parties, and happy hours. These events provide an opportunity to socialize with colleagues that you may not interact with regularly.

Additionally, consider joining employee resource groups (ERGs) that align with your interests and goals. These groups offer valuable networking opportunities and can enhance visibility within the organization.

Build relationships with colleagues across departments

Your immediate team may be the one you interact with most, but don’t limit your networking efforts to just them.

Building relationships with colleagues in other departments can expand your knowledge and understanding of the organization as a whole, and also increase your visibility among decision-makers who may not be directly involved in your day-to-day work.

Seek out mentors, advocates, and allies across various departments to help elevate your profile within the company.

Prepare for promotion opportunities 

You could be presented with a promotion opportunity at any moment, so it’s important for your personal branding toolkit to always be in tip-top shape. Here’s how:

Update your resume

Managers will turn to your resume to get a sense of your qualifications, so you need to make sure it’s up-to-date, up-to-par, and tailored to the position you’re aiming for.

Specifically, focus on “concrete evidence” of your capabilities more than skills. For instance, on top of adding a “core competencies” section with a bulleted list of your skills, weave those into the context of your work history.

Let’s say “strategic thinking” is one of your key strengths. Instead of only listing that as a bullet point, describe how you’ve used that skill to make an impact in your current or previous roles (e.g. “Led a cross-functional team to develop a new marketing strategy that resulted in a 20% increase in sales”).

This approach allows potential employers to not only “read” what you can do, but also “see” how you’ve applied your skills in real-world situations.

Other tips include:

  • Use the right resume title (yes, there’s a wrong way to do it!)
  • Make sure your “Summary of Qualifications” section is in line with the specific job you’re targeting
  • Include the top 3 career highlights that you want the hiring manager to see first right after your Summary of Qualifications
  • Use industry-specific keywords and phrases to help you stand out in resume scanning software and make a good impression on human reviewers

Pro Tip: Always get your resume reviewed by an experienced professional. This is your career on the line, and a second set of eyes can help catch any areas for improvement that you may have missed. Book your free resume critique from one of our senior resume writers. We know what employers are looking for and can help you make your resume stand out from the rest.

Refresh your LinkedIn profile and online presence

Your resume is of utmost importance, but it’s not the only thing employers will look at. Your online presence, particularly on LinkedIn, is also a crucial factor in getting hired.

That means that if you haven’t updated your profile in a while, now is the time to do it. Some tips for refreshing your LinkedIn profile include:

  • Make sure your headline and About section are attention-grabbing and highlight your unique skills and experiences
  • Use industry-specific keywords throughout your profile
  • Regularly engage with content related to your field of expertise to demonstrate your knowledge and passion

Also, be mindful of how you present yourself on other social media platforms. Employers may search for your name online and take your behavior on these platforms into consideration when making hiring decisions.

Practice interview skills and salary negotiation tactics

Once your application materials are updated, it’s time to brush up on your interview skills and salary negotiation tactics. Don’t wait until you secure an interview to start preparing. Here’s what you typically need to do:

  • Research the company and position you’re applying for
  • Research industry standards for salary and benefits
  • Anticipate and prepare answers to common interview questions
  • Conduct mock interviews with a friend or career counselor to practice your responses and refine your delivery based on feedback
  • Familiarize yourself with salary negotiation tactics so you’re prepared to negotiate for fair compensation

The better you are at selling yourself and articulating your value, the more likely you are to secure a job offer with favorable terms.

Internal Promotions: Communicating your aspirations

As you get everything set for your promotion, you need to remember that if you’re not expressing your interest in moving up within your company, no one will know. If you’re interested in advancing within your current job, it’s important to communicate that by:

  • Scheduling regular check-ins with your manager to discuss your career goals and development plan
  • Constantly seeking feedback and guidance on areas for improvement from anyone who can influence your promotion decision and who has seen you in action
  • Being vocal about your accomplishments and contributions during performance evaluations or team meetings

These steps put you on the radar of decision-makers and show your ambition and drive to move up within the company. They also provide a good opportunity to gather information about any potential promotion opportunities or open roles that may be coming up.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Moving on to greener pastures: Searching for a better fit elsewhere

In many cases, you may be looking for the next step in your career but your current company is unable to offer it. Maybe you hit your ceiling within the company, or you’re seeking a different industry. Whatever the reason, you don’t need to quit your current job to start your job search.

Here are some tips to look for roles that match your career goals while you’re still employed:

  • Leverage your network to explore potential opportunities
  • Keep your job search confidential by avoiding job search activities during work hours or using company resources
  • Attend industry events and conferences to network and learn about potential job openings
  • Use online job search tools and job boards to explore different industries and roles
  • Schedule interviews during non-work hours or use personal time off (PTO) to attend them
  • Tailor your resume and cover letter for each role you apply to, highlighting relevant experiences and skills
  • Engage with recruiters specializing in your desired industry to increase your job search reach

It’s crucial to stay organized during this process. Keep track of the positions you’ve applied to, follow up with potential employers, and maintain a list of upcoming interviews.


By implementing these career advancement strategies, you’re publicizing your career goals and aspirations to the right people while taking tangible steps toward achieving them. However, remember that you can’t only implement the steps in this part without doing the internal work discussed in the previous part. It takes both external and internal efforts to make significant career advancements.

Also, remember to be patient and persistent, as landing the perfect promotion takes time and effort. Just be ready with your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile as of now to leave no stone unturned! Keep an open mindset, have confidence in your abilities, keep taking action, and the promotion you deserve will come sooner rather than later.

Ready for more job search help?

Sign up for a free Senior Writer Resume Critique to see what’s holding you back from landing interviews. One of our top professional resume writers will give you personalized feedback on the top 3 items you can improve based on our expert practices!


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