It’s that time of year again: when we make resolutions for the New Year. And most everyone’s doing it too. Some common ones: Save money, manage stress, take a trip, get a better education and exercise. That’s why we weren’t surprised last January to find that the number of people at the gym had grown exponentially from just a few weeks before.
If you’re a job seeker, you’re probably thinking about making resolutions that will help you land that great new job you’ve been looking for.
In The Top 10 Job Seeker New Year’s Resolutions , Josh Tolan provides a list of them to help people like you succeed. Among them are:
Never stop networking:
It’s a great way to discover hidden job opportunities and to set yourself apart from other job seekers. Resolve to focus on building up your circle. Network in person and through social media and follow up with your contacts to keep them fresh. This way, when a great opportunity opens up, you’re the first person they imagine.
We think networking is especially important because career experts say that this technique is the best way to land a job.
Work on your elevator pitch: If you’re going to be networking up a storm, it’s important you have your elevator pitch down cold. Your pitch is the concise way you introduce yourself to new contacts. Have all the vital information about yourself, but don’t ramble on. Make an impression quickly so the conversation can move on from the introductions. This will also be helpful in the interview process.
Get Visual: If you can find a way to make an impression visually, you’ll be more likely to grab the attention of hiring managers. Look into infographic resumes, make sure your social media profiles sport professional pictures, and record a video resume to show off your communication skills. Your images should say the right things.
Have a Social Media Plan
. Don’t use social media on a whim when it comes to your job hunt. Make a workable social media job search plan. This could include groups you should join, discussions you should add to, or Twitter chats you should monitor. But, don’t think social media is a magic bullet that will land you a job with no effort.
We suggest that you consider using a social media dashboard such as HootSuite, so you can more efficiently manage your LinkedIn, Twitter and other accounts.
Focus on Time Management:
Focus on managing your time by only applying for jobs you’d love to have, and make sure the positions and companies are a good fit.
If you can make the time, we suggest you fit in volunteering, which is a great way to show employers your dedication and work ethic, and fill any gaps in your resume.
Keep Learning. Never stop learning and adding to your knowledge base. Know what skills and qualifications are necessary in your field and go out there and brush up those skills. Take a certification course or even spend some time with someone in a different department to find out how other aspects of the company work.
We recommend that employed job seekers invest in their own professional development, even if their employer won’t pay for training or give them time off for it. If necessary, pay your own way and take a vacation or personal day to get the training and skills for staying on top of your field.
Tolan also lists these resolutions: Know your goals, brand yourself, volunteer your time and give yourself a break.
We agree that if you still don’t know what your goals are, now is the time to set them. Think about what your passion is to avoid winding up in a job that’s wrong for you. But also make sure that your goal is attainable given your skill set or determine what training or other experience you need to make it so.
In addition, while self-branding makes sense for many job seekers, it may not be of value to you. Alice Marwick in Why Self-Branding Isn’t For Everyone points out that self-branding isn’t for every career. For example, she says it won’t do anything for you if you work in retail, because the type of public image that self-branding requires isn’t valued in these occupations.
Finally, give yourself an occasional break, so you won’t burn out, Tolan advises.
Keep job hunting but also give yourself some time to enjoy the holiday.