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4 New Year’s Resolutions to Boost Your Job Search

 

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by Janna Kefalas in Job Search, LinkedIn

Here we are in the beginning of 2019, and…well…you might feel like you’re in a bit of a post-holiday funk. The Christmas tree has been taken down, the champagne glasses have been put away, the weather’s been wacky…and there are those dang New Year’s resolutions.

Those resolutions, that seemed so ambitious and exciting at the clink of a “Happy New Year” toast, now seem completely overwhelming and undoable.

The main problem with resolutions is that we often choose ones that are too broad or vague (get healthy, make more money) or, conversely, ones that are so rigid, we know we’ll never adhere to (cut out ALL sugar, meditate for 1 hour daily).

So when it comes to finding a stellar new job in 2019, we want to make sure we’re choosing resolutions that are specific and actionable. Saying “I resolve to find a new job” just won’t cut it. (Not to mention, it feels so uninspiring.)

Here are 4 Job Search New Year’s Resolutions that will get your engines started and keep you cruising the next few months:

#1 – I Resolve to Create a Job Search Plan of Attack

When clients come to me, they usually think a job search starts with updating their resume and LinkedIn profile — and then clicking APPLY on job board postings.

But without a clear plan, it’s easy to fall into what I call being a “reactive job seeker” — passively responding to job opportunities that seem half-way decent (but have probably already gotten a ton of applications).

A better approach is to take stock of what you’ve liked and disliked about current and past positions and companies in order to determine SPECIFICALLY what you want in your next role and company.

From there, it’s helpful to write out an ideal job description as well as a list of 15-30 target companies whose mission/product/service speaks to you.

Up to 80% of jobs aren’t posted online, so start building relationships with people at those companies in order to find out about possible opportunities that are in the works. (More on that in #3).

#2 – I Resolve to Celebrate (and Document) My Accomplishments

Job seekers often feel intimidated throwing their hat into the ring for a job opening because they worry they won’t measure up as a candidate.

They reluctantly apply, but then their worst fears are confirmed when they hear nothing back.

But what I find is that, it’s not an issue of lacking the right skills and experience to do the job, but instead not conveying that expertise in a compelling way.

Job seekers routinely undersell themselves by listing vague, general duties on their resume and LinkedIn profile instead of creating quantifiable accomplishment statements that paint a clear picture of positive outcomes.

The truth is, in your current and past positions, you’ve done some impressive stuff! You’ve probably solved complex problems…and these achievements need to be CELEBRATED.

And they also need to be written down.

So think about ways you might have increased revenue, or cut costs, or streamlined a system, or oversaw a project from start to finish. What strategies, methodologies, and technologies did you use? What were the results? Can you put it into numbers?

Even if you’re not starting a job search right away, start writing these accomplishments down now. Look over previous performance evaluations and search through emails, project proposals and reports. Know the details.

Not only will this process help you make concrete improvements to your resume and LinkedIn profile, but you’ll start feeling more confident as a professional. And that confidence will shine through as you network and interview.

#3 – I Resolve to Make LinkedIn My Friend

Oh LinkedIn…the forgotten social media platform. It certainly isn’t as fun or sexy as Facebook or Instagram. It’s a bit stodgy and buttoned up (and not exactly the most user friendly *cough cough).

But what’s amazing about LinkedIn is that it’s really one massive database of professionals and companies — ripe with research and networking opportunties.

Unfortunately, most job seekers only use it to post an online resume (and an oft-incomplete one at that).

As I alluded to in Resolution #1, you can use LinkedIn to research companies of interest and see how you’re connected to employees there. If you know someone in common, you can request an introduction directly on the platform.

If not, you can send the employee a personalized connection request to start a meaningful dialogue.

LinkedIn is also a great place to join and contribute to industry-related groups, where you can showcase your subject matter expertise.

Being regularly active and visible on LinkedIn will allow you to strategically expand your network and get noticed by potential employers.

#4 – I Resolve to Take Rejection in Stride

Ok, I know…we don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions with the word “rejection” in them. But when it comes to a job search, rejection unfortunately comes with the territory.

Sometimes it’s sending off that perfect resume and cover letter and not hearing back. Or reaching out to an employee at your favorite company and getting radio silence. Or receiving a “thank you but no thank you” email after you SWORE you nailed that interview.

I think the most painful part of rejection is the unknown. Why didn’t they respond? Why didn’t they make me an offer? What did I do wrong???

The unfortunate truth is that you’ll probably never know for sure. You can do everything right and still not get the job. It’s a tough pill to swallow but a necessary one.

So keep your efforts up, stay strategic, get help when you can, and know that rejection happens to every single one of us. It’s really a patience and persistence game, so grit your teeth and don’t give up.

Well there you have it. Hopefully these 4 New Year’s resolutions will keep you focused and on track to landing that fantastic job very, very soon.

 

Check Out My Free Job Search Guide

Learn how to avoid (and correct!) critical mistakes when it comes to resumes, interviews, LinkedIn...and more.

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed.