As we ring in the New Year, most of us have a grocery list of resolutions. We want to exercise more, lose weight, get organized, and live life to the fullest. If "find a new job" is on your list, here's a good place to start:
1. Make the most out of your current position
It’s rather easy to fall into a pattern in the workplace. If you’ve been in your current role for a while now, don’t get complacent and just bide your time until a new opportunity comes along. Change your perspective about what your employer might have to offer.
Would a new position make you feel differently about the organization? What about some new responsibilities? Stepping outside your comfort zone may lead to a renewed commitment to your employer and expose you to tasks and projects that expand your skill set, making you more marketable to other companies.
2. Work up a job search plan
You won’t get anywhere by searching for a job whenever time permits. Trust us, you’ll always find something “better” to do. Instead, look at your schedule to find windows of time to devote some attention to the process. Blocking off a couple hours here and there can often help you make progress.
If you’re extremely busy, you might find it beneficial to take a more categorical approach to the whole process. Mondays, for example, could be devoted to looking at the job boards for an hour, while two hours on Wednesdays could be used for sending off email queries and submitting applications. Then, pencil in Thursdays for any follow-ups.
3. Put yourself out there
If no one knows you’re looking for a job, they certainly can’t help you find one. Reach out to everyone in your network and make people aware that you’re open to new job opportunities. And don’t assume that the only contacts who can help you are those that can offer you a job. Talk to everyone.
As your network learns of your job hunt, people will inevitably refer you for positions that aren’t quite right. Never dismiss the chance to meet with a hiring manager. The job you’re interviewing for isn’t always the only job available. Besides, it’s one more opportunity for you to make a new connection.
4. Update all the essentials
If you’ve yet to update your resume, now’s the time to do it. For one, you’ll want it handy just in case someone in your network contacts you out of the blue with a job opportunity. It’s also a lot easier to revise your resume when you can spend time crafting its overall narrative to highlight the value of your experience.
But your resume isn’t the only item that probably needs an overhaul. Review all your social profiles to ensure they paint you in a good light. After all, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen talent. Clean up your image on Facebook, Twitter, etc. And while you’re at it, give your LinkedIn page the onceover to ensure it compliments your resume.
5. Look when you’re not looking
Not everyone can devote enough time to a job search to make the progress they want — even with a job search plan. That’s why many jobseekers passively look for jobs by working with a recruiter. If an opportunity crops up, they almost immediately hear about it from someone with connections at the employer.
Besides, more and more companies are choosing not to list positions on job boards, going directly to staffing agencies instead. When working with a recruiter, you gain access to jobs you’d never hear about otherwise. You’ll also have the chance to work with someone who can refocus your resume and make you more desirable to employers.
6. Go social with your search efforts
With 79 percent of people currently using social media in their job search, you’re cutting down your chances of landing a job if you’re absent from platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. In fact, 93 percent of companies use LinkedIn to find and hire talent.
But don’t just set up an account and expect the offers to come rolling in. Reach out to your connections — and your connection’s connections — on the platform. Second- and third-degree connections can often lead to job referrals. And a study of Facebook users shows similar findings on this platform as well.
7. Prepare for your performance
Talking about yourself can feel awkward at first, and it’s often difficult to remember examples of past accomplishment off the top of your head. But practicing aloud can help. It’ll ensure you make the best possible impression when speaking to your experience, skills, and interests.
Before even applying for a job, take the time to work up potential interview questions. Then, practice your answers either by yourself or with a trusted friend. You’d be surprised how much more relaxed you’ll feel when you finally sit down with a recruiter, hiring manager, or whoever else can offer you a job.
If you’re considering changing jobs or even switching careers, we want to hear from you. A member of our team would be more than happy to meet with you and explore all the opportunities available to someone with your unique background and experience.