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New Years' Resolutions for Job Seekers

It's a new year, which means that it is an excellent time for a fresh start.  If you were feeling that your job search had stalled, you can take this opportunity to reboot it.  Unfortunately, it is unlikely that a job is just going to fall in your lap, but if you are willing to work hard, you can make it happen!  Here are some New Years' resolutions that will help you get things moving:

I will clarify my goals.   If you don't know what you want, it is going to be difficult for you to build any momentum in your job search.  Your efforts will be scattered and nobody will be able to help you.  You need to step back to consider your goals, values, skills, and experiences so that you can determine which jobs you should be targeting.  You can do this exercise on your own or with an employment counsellor.  You might want to consider reading a career planning book such as "What Color is Your Parachute" by Richard Bolles to help you get started.

I will create a job search strategy.  Once you know what type of job you are looking for, you need to develop your plan.  Your job search strategy will outline the tactics that you will use as well as the time you will spend on each one.  You may find it helpful to make a daily schedule for yourself.  When you are working from a detailed plan, you are more efficient.  Also, if you are not getting results, a plan allows you to quickly change strategies. 

I will prioritize networking.  In terms of effectiveness, networking beats every other job search strategy combined.  There is no easier way to get your resume to the top of the pile.  Talk to your family, friends, and previous colleagues and let them know that you are looking for a job.  Ask if they know of any availabilities.  Join networking groups and attend events.  Get out there and talk to people about your job search.  Many people will be happy to help you if you ask them.    

I will use social media effectively.  Most job seekers are on social media but few use it strategically in their job search.  Start by reviewing your profiles to make sure that they provide a positive impression of you.  You may want to change your settings to private so that you can control who can view your profile.  LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build your network, make connections with people who work in your industry, find people who work at your target companies, and join industry groups.  Explore LinkedIn to see how you can use it in your job search.  The other social media sites are less formal but can also be used to expand your network and maintain relationships with your contacts. 

I will stay positive.  Your attitude is what will make or break your job search.  When you are feeling low, it's tough to get out there and pound the pavement.  Perhaps your motivation was waning towards the end of last year.  You weren't getting interviews and it was starting to feel hopeless.  Now is a good time for a fresh start.  Turn the page, let go of yesterday and see what this new year has in store for you.  Good luck!


(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles at