It is that time of year. People may be asking you what your New Year’s resolution as well as sharing theirs.
If you are in a job search, your resolutions may and should involve your job search. If you are stumped, here are 7 suggestions to get you off to a good start:
- Know your resume – have a great resume with accomplishment based bullets, and know it inside and out. This will help you prepare for interviews and better answer behavior type interview questions.
- Dedicate time – if you are unemployed, you need to dedicate 30 to 40 hours to your job search each week. If you are working and looking for a better opportunity, then you need to clock 10 to 15 hours a week. Keep track of your hours and make sure each hour count.
- Career focus – In order for your network to help you, you need to have a clear career focus. What are you looking for? What are your top ten companies? What would a perfect day or week be like at your ideal job? Once you know what you are looking for, your network will better be able to help you.
- Write better cover letters – not all hiring managers or recruiters read cover letters, but for those that do, a well written cover letter can help convince the reader to read your resume. Treat cover letters for what they are – marketing material, and a chance to let the organization know why you want to work for them. Do not cut and paste from past letters. Recruiters can spot cut and paste jobs from a mile away. Write a new letter for each and ever opportunity.
- Learn from past mistakes – think back over the past year. What went well in your job search and what things could you do better? Did you bring up a bad boss story in an interview? Where you late because you could not find parking or the location? What can you do differently this year?
- Quality over Quantity – when applying for new opportunities, make sure you are qualified for at least 70% of the job requirements. It is better to take more time to be sure you are qualified and write a targeted cover letter, applying for three to four jobs a week, than to hurriedly apply for 10 to 20 jobs that you do not qualify for.
- Network – over 70% of jobs are found through networking. When applying for jobs that you are qualified for, use LinkedIn to find contacts inside the organization that can help get your application looked at. Look for ways to help fellow job seekers. Attend networking and association events. The biggest thing about networking is looking ways to give back. By doing so, people will be more likely to think of you when an opportunity presents itself.
Please share with me your career and job search resolutions? What are you planning to change this year?