10 Must-Haves for Your Professional Toolkit


Kathy Lavinder, CFE
Owner and Executive Director of Security & Investigative Placement Consultants 

Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or passively keeping an eye out for a professional challenge, here are 10 essentials:

1.       An up-to-date résumé:  If you keep your résumé current, you’ll be ready if an opportunity unexpectedly develops. You’ll also do a better job of capturing relevant accomplishments and results as you go. Plan to do a quarterly review and update of your résumé.

2.       A training log: Ditto for a training log. While you probably won’t share your training log until you are actively under consideration for a role, have it ready as a separate document.

3.       A demonstrated commitment to ongoing learning: Your résumé and your training log should document your commitment to professional development. Fraud is a dynamic landscape; keeping current is vital and it distinguishes you from the competition.

4.       An editor on standby: Identify a family member, friend or colleague who can be a proofreader and editor; ask him/her to carefully review your résumé before you send it anywhere. This person should also be a sounding board who can provide advice about how well your résumé aligns with the job you’re exploring and how well you’re communicating your experience, skills and knowledge.

5.       A well-crafted and appealing LinkedIn profile: Plan to do a LinkedIn review and update quarterly, if not more often. The importance of LinkedIn in the job search/career advancement process cannot be overstated. Communicate only what you are comfortable sharing and never be indiscreet. Make sure your profile communicates your value proposition for a potential employer. Select relevant skills in the Skills and Endorsements section, and seek out endorsements from colleagues. Include a photo in a professional pose with professional attire.

6.       A “clean” social media presence: Regularly check your privacy settings since social media sites are always changing the privacy rules. Purge anything that is even remotely inappropriate, and never share information about your work or employer on social media sites outside of LinkedIn.  

7.       A strong network of peers: Maintain regular contact with an array of professional colleagues who can provide their insights and perspectives on the fraud arena. They are also often the best source for unannounced job openings.

8.       A variety of references: Maintain a current list of names and contact information. Include a former supervisor, a current or former colleague, a direct report (if possible) and an industry thought leader.

9.       An active account with Indeed.com: This job posting aggregator is free and it’s working for you all the time. Refine your search terms and geography as needed. 

10.   An understanding of applicant tracking systems: Many employers use applicant tracking software to sort and score résumés received through their web portals. Keyword matches in your résumé are vital, so résumé tailoring for each opportunity is critical to making the initial cut.

Technology and a crowded pool of job seekers have changed how companies find talent so knowing what you have to do to stand out is critical to your success.