Industry News

New Year, New Strategy, New Job

Making a career change ranks high on many people’s lists of New Year’s resolutions.

Whether you are thinking about finding a new job or contemplating a career shift to another field, the start of a new year is actually a good time to embark upon your search.  A large spike in people searching online job boards, reaching out to contacts on various social platforms and applying for new positions has marked the first week in January during the last three years.

Here are some tips that should help you land a great new job in the New Year:

1. First, even though there are positive conditions for job seekers, don’t be over confident and make the mistake of under preparing or under estimating the amount of time and energy a true job search takes.

2. Do your research when you are applying for jobs and demonstrate a real interest and knowledge of the employer. Elevate this to an even higher level of preparation for an interview. Recruiters are completely turned off when you don’t even know what the company does.

3. Make sure that you have “good job search habits.” What I mean by this is that you should view your search as a job that you literally get up for each day of the week, get dressed and get to work. You set goals for the day of applying for positions that aren’t random, but you are truly interested in and qualified for and you keep a record of these and dates to follow up. You reach out to a number of contacts in your network and set up as many calls and “coffees” as possible.

4. If you haven’t already, establish an email account that is professional and can handle large files. If you have been using your nickname @ AOL, it’s time to set up a Gmail or similar large email account with your real name.

5. Make sure you name your resume with your actual name, not “my resume.” You would be shocked at how many job seekers don’t do this and then wonder why they never hear back on a job they seem qualified for. It’s often because recruiters can’t find them.

6. Master social. Utilize social media in strategic ways. Find companies and organizations that you are interested in and follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn and comment appropriately. Look out for tweets or job announcements and follow up.

7. Utilize your college / university connections. The career center, alumni relations and LinkedIn university pages are fantastic ways to find alumni from your alma mater who may be working in companies or industries that you are interested in.

8. Speaking of networking, do it in person as well as online. Getting in front of people and being able to articulate what you are interested in, and a little about your background in a short amount of time (60 to 90 seconds), is an important “pitch” strategy to develop.

9. Always be ready. Whether it’s a phone call, text, or other communication. In other words don’t pick up the phone if you are half asleep or at some loud social gathering. Rather, let the call go to your professional voice mailbox and then call the recruiter back when you are in a quiet area with strong cell phone reception.

10. Keep up your energy, determination, and positive attitude. Job searching can be a very humbling experience, but no one wants to hire someone who appears frustrated and desperate.  Demonstrating your genuine interest and enthusiasm are key. Exercise, get plenty of sleep and talk to friends and job search professionals to get encouragement, vent and keep up your spirits.