This is the year!
The year you find that dream job, and the year you stop putting off your search. No more hating your commute, or spending your Sunday night dreading the next morning. This year is all about making a change!
However, you’ve been down this road before with resolutions. You rang in the New Year excited to make a big change in your life, but by the end of January your resolution had already been put on the shelf.
How can you make this year different? You can begin by recognizing the one issue that sinks most resolutions: getting started. No matter how ambitious you are with finding a new career, unless you start on solid footing with the right fundamentals and expectations, things can quickly get overwhelming. How will you stop the trend of failed resolutions and make this year’s come to fruition?
Put Together a Plan of Action
One of the main issues we have with resolutions is that they lack planning. If your goal is to find a new job, make sure you know what steps to reach that goal. Start by putting together a list of target jobs and companies. This maximizes time during your search, focuses your energy, and avoids the dreaded “burnout” associated with applying to anything and everything.
In addition to focusing your job search, put together a time frame and some goals you would like to hit along the way. Make them manageable goals, like applying to five jobs a week, or calling two target companies during your lunch hour on Mondays. Meeting these goals can be celebrated, and it will allow you to measure your progress during your search.
Clean Up Your Social Media
According to CareerBuilder, 70% of companies use social media to screen potential employees. You can bank on that number going up every year, and be relatively sure that a Hiring Manager will be checking your social media footprint before they bring you in for an interview. With this in mind, scrub your social media of anything that might even be remotely offensive or misunderstood. This means turning on the private settings, getting rid of any photos that may paint you in the wrong light (this includes asking friends to take down those photos as well), and cleaning up the language on your page. In addition, do a Google search of your name to see what comes up, and make adjustments accordingly.
Get Your Phone and Email Ready to Go
When was the last time you thought about what was on your incoming voicemail greeting? If you are like most people, it’s probably been a while. As you get ready to look for a new job, take a listen to your message and make sure that it is brief, professional, and to the point. While you’re at it, make sure that you’ve cleaned out any voicemails so there is plenty of room for Hiring Managers to leave their messages.
A lot of companies like to communicate via email during the hiring process. Make sure you have a professional email (think email@example.com, not firstname.lastname@example.org). Be aware that spam filters may send messages from Hiring Managers directly to your junk email box so check your junk folder daily, as you can never be sure that an important email didn’t slip through.
Get Your Network Working for You
The best tool you have for your job search is your network. They aren’t just the gateway to more than 80% of job openings, they are also your guide to looking for a job in today’s market (i.e. hot skills, trends, etc.). One of the best things you can do is to simply alert your network that you are looking for something new, as they may know of an opening that you would be perfect for. In addition, they can help you craft your resume, get important contact information, and help guide you through the process.
You should also consider getting some outside help from a staffing company, like AppleOne. While you can continue to look on your own, they will be able to keep an eye open for opportunities that are in your wheelhouse, including those that are part of those 80% of job openings you will not see on your own.