The start of the New Year is a great time to set goals, establish new habits and make positive life changes. So, if you’ve been considering switching jobs, the New Year is an optimal time to start your job search.
To help you succeed, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ways you can maximize your job search in the New Year — and beyond.
1. Spruce up your résumé
The end of the year is the perfect time to revamp and update your résumé. This is because you have had a whole year’s worth of new experiences and skills that you can now showcase on your résumé.
Reflect on any new recognitions, achievements, responsibilities or skills that you can add to your résumé. It’s also a good idea to ensure the format and design of your application documents are modern and still suitable to your current job level and field.
2. Establish a personal brand
In today’s competitive job market, one of the best ways for jobseekers to stand out from the crowd is to establish a personal brand and create an online presence that showcases your experiences, personality, skills and values.
One of the most effective ways to promote your personal brand is through professional social media websites and job search apps. As most recruiters and hiring managers search candidates online, developing a personal brand across your professional social media profiles will give you an edge over the competition.
A great way to make yourself more marketable and stand out to potential employers is to develop your skillset. And the start of the New Year is a great time to do so. Upskilling not only demonstrates you possess the skills needed to perform the job but also that you have the motivation to advance your career.
If you can’t commit to the time it takes to complete a course, there are various other ways to upskill. Reading books related to your field, taking a short online training, and attending workshops are all ways you can increase your skillset in the New Year.
4. Determine your “why”
One of the most beneficial steps you can take when starting your job search is to figure out your “why”, or your purpose for seeking a new role. If you’re dissatisfied in your current job, it’s important to understand what you’re missing so that you can hopefully have those aspects fulfilled in your next role.
Do you feel unchallenged or stagnant in your current role? Are you in the wrong career? Or do you want a better relationship with your boss and coworkers? Writing down what exactly you’re hoping to gain from your career move will give you direction and increase the chances of future career satisfaction.
5. Develop a strategic plan
Creating a plan is an important step towards achieving your goals — and this applies to your job search and overall career. So, for this reason, starting out the New Year with a strategic job search plan can help ensure success with your search.
An effective job search plan should include your goals, a schedule and timeline, and steps you plan to take to reach your goals. It’s important to make your goals as specific as possible by using the SMART goal-setting method.
6. Find a mentor
There are many advantages that can come from obtaining a mentor to help with your job search. Not only do mentors have years of experience you can learn from but they can also provide career coaching and encouragement during your job search.
Since starting to mentor is a common New Year’s resolution, it’s also a good time for prospective mentees to find one. And although it isn’t always easy to establish a mentoring relationship, it is possible with some effort. Try first considering the professional contacts already in your network. Other ways to find a mentor are by attending networking events or using mentoring platforms.
7. Take initiative
In order to have the highest chance of success with your job search, you’re going to need to take a proactive approach. So, if you’ve been more passive with your job search in previous years, why not try taking more initiative this year?
Taking initiative in your job search means that you don’t simply apply for advertised roles and through job boards, and then wait for a recruiter to get back to you. It means taking action to make things happen. Reaching out to hiring managers on LinkedIn, searching for unadvertised opportunities, and following up on applications are all great ways to take initiative with your job search.
8. Create a routine
One reason that deters many people from finding a new job is the time and effort that it involves. After all, writing tailored covered letters, preparing for interviews and going to interviews is time-consuming. And with the busyness of modern living, it can be hard to find the time. So, for this reason, a routine is key.
Set some time aside in either the morning or evening each day to work on your job search. For example, you could wake up 30 minutes earlier, or use the time after your children go to bed. However, the key is to make sure it’s the same time every day. This way, it becomes a habit that you don’t have to think twice about.
9. Establish healthy habits
Searching for a new job can be a stressful experience. But you shouldn’t let it impact your health. After all, you want to make sure you’re in your best form for interviews and when starting your new job once you get an offer. Therefore, make sure to not let the job search get in the way of a healthy lifestyle.
Getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, socializing and doing regular physical activity are all tenants of a healthy lifestyle. And if you struggle in one or more of those areas, the New Year can be a good time to kick off new habits.
10. Keep up your job performance
If you’re looking for a new job while you’re still employed, it’s imperative to keep up your job performance. Even if you already have one foot out the door, you’ll still need a good reference from your current employer. And they’re also still your source of income.
Therefore, continue to focus on your current job during the day so that your job search doesn’t impact your performance. And also limit the time you spend applying for jobs to after-work hours.
Temporal markers, like New Years, cause many people to reflect and reevaluate their lives and careers. And in doing so, you many decide that your current role isn’t a good fit, or that you’re just ready for a new challenge.
If this is the case for you, it should give you some comfort in knowing that the New Year is one of the best times to find a new job. Not only are many people more motivated and productive after the holiday season, but it’s also when companies tend to do a higher amount of hiring!
So, if you’ve set your sights on a new job in the New Year, the 10 tips above will help you successfully check off a New Year’s resolution and help you land that new job.
If you need some more job search tips, check out this video:
Got any more ideas on how to maximize your job search in the New Year? Let us know in the comments section below.
Originally published on December 31, 2018.