Friday, December 27, 2013

New Year's Resolutions for Job Seekers

With 2013 coming to a close, it's the time of year when many of us reflect on our accomplishments and make plans for the future.  For job seekers, it's the perfect opportunity to resolve to do better.  Here are some New Year's resolutions that will get your job search off to a strong start in 2014.  

Create a clear plan.  Without a clear plan, it becomes difficult to achieve your goals.  While you may make some progress, a concrete plan helps you focus your energy and work more efficiently and effectively.  Write down your career goals and the steps that you will take to achieve them.  Review your plan at least once a week to make sure that you stay on track. 

Clean up your social media profiles.  Many of us set up our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts and then forget about them.  When you consider that some employers will review your social media profiles prior to making the decision to hire you, it makes sense to check them on a regular basis.  Update any information about your career profile and remove anything that you wouldn't want an employer to see.  It may even be a good idea to Google your name and see what pops up.   

Make networking a priority.  You know that networking is the most effective way to find a job, but how much time do you actually devote to it?  Since many of us are uncomfortable with networking, you need to make a conscious effort to do it.  Make it a point to do at least one networking event a week.  You may feel awkward at first, but with practice it will get easier.

Be focused on the employer's`needs.  When you are writing your resume and cover letter, there can be a temptation to focus on your career goals, your accomplishments, and the areas of your profile that make you the most proud.  However, the employer may not be interested in these details.  Instead, make an effort to concentrate on the employer's needs and how your skills and experience make you well equipped to address them. 

It's easy to make New Year's resolutions, but sticking to them is a little more challenging.  Just try to work on them a little bit each day and you will be surprised by how quickly you start to see results.  


(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo by: ArtJSan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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