Happy New Year!

Ringing in 2016 means a new opportunity to reinvigorate your job search and make changes to your career and professional life. There are several ways you can make your job search more effective. Here are some New Year’s resolutions to help you find the perfect position in 2016.

1. Limit your time on job boards

To make your job search more effective, limit the time you spend searching for jobs on job boards. A better use of your time includes networking, cleaning up your resume and utilizing external resources (like a recruiter or mentor). Because job boards often charge employers/companies to post positions, many smaller businesses do not post on the major boards. Additionally, many times the same position is listed on multiple job boards. While it is smart to check the boards regularly, concentrating the majority of your effort here is not the best use of your time and energy.

2. Reach out to a recruiter

A good recruiter can be your best friend during the job search process. Recruiters know about jobs and opportunities that are not openly advertised or listed online. They work to find the perfect job for each individual client and job searcher. They want to make both parties happy and find the ideal fit for the hiring company and the job seeker (you!). By reaching out to a recruiter, your job search is more effective, specifically tailored to you and has a significantly greater reach. Still need convincing? Check out the Top 6 Reasons to Utilize a Staffing Firm.

3. Improve your networking skills

One of the most important skills you can foster is the ability to network and talk to like-minded professionals in your field. Attend as many networking events as you can with the primary goal of meeting and starting conversations with successful professionals. Not only will you have the ability to learn something from them, these connections may become very valuable down the line. Recognize the people you hope to see and connect with, and be sure to bring business cards. Although presenting yourself well is important, the best thing you can do is to start meaningful conversations with the people you meet. If you receive contact information or make a connection with a potential employer, feel free to send a follow-up email or thank you note.

4. Clean up your social media

Privacy Settings

Check the privacy settings on ALL of your social media accounts to ensure that potential employers are only seeing the content you want them to see. If you have professional accounts and private accounts, ensure you are posting the correct content on each one. Make an effort to improve the content you post to social media, and to make posts on a regular basis.

Strengthen your LinkedIn Prescence

It is important to have a strong presence on LinkedIn. This virtual network offers another way to connect with professionals in your field and to reach out to the right people. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated, include your passions and interests and try to be engaged in the groups that are important to you. LinkedIn is a one-stop shop where you can search for jobs, engage with others in your field, find a recruiter and network.

5. Get a makeover

Although changing your appearance or losing weight might be at the top of most New Year’s resolution lists, the real changes need to be made to your resume. Give your resume a complete makeover and don’t be afraid to make adjustments for each specific job you apply for. Utilize keywords specific to your field. If you struggle with resume formatting and writing, don’t be afraid to seek professional help! Sometimes, just having someone else review your resume can help you make necessary improvements and changes.

6. Find a mentor

Find someone in your field who you admire and reach out them for career advice. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Ask a valued professional key questions such as; how did you know you wanted to work in this field? What was your greatest obstacle to overcome? What is your favorite part of the job? This is a great form of networking and can give you immense insight into the challenges you might face in your job search or new career. Never be afraid to ask questions.

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