By Kristin Granero
Whether you’re still looking for your first real gig or trying to take the next step up that corporate ladder, it can be disheartening to keep casting that resume reel into an endless sea of applications.
Repeat after Ed, “2016 will be different,” and read on for our list of tried-and-true ways to get yourself back in the job-hunting game and ensure this year is one of your most productive yet. Do a few–or all–of these career-centered resolutions to help land yourself the job you want by 2017.
- Get (back) in touch.
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to stay in the know (and top of mind for someone else) is to keep up with your industry contacts. Check in with bosses and peers you’ve met along the way to ask how they’re doing, praise their recent work, or arrange for catch-up coffee when possible. As long as it’s often – and not always self-serving – they’ll likely be happy to help you out.
- Update your resume.
Another year means you’ve likely gained new experience. Now is the perfect time to add it to your resume and while you’re at it make sure everything else still speaks to the role you’d like to fill next. If not, you may want to seize the opportunity to fill in any gaps.
- Strengthen your online presence.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have job hunters coming to you? Keeping a digital portfolio of your work and making sure your online profiles are current is just as important as updating your resume. Refresh the skills sections of your professional listings, update your website if you have one, and take a good hard look at your personal accounts like Facebook and Instagram (they may not be as private as you think) to make sure they’re working for you, not against.
- Dress like you mean it.
You’ve likely heard the term, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” While Ed trusts your judgment when it comes to what’s appropriate for your office (maybe a designer pencil dress at a creative digital agency would make you stand out in the wrong way), there is something to be said for keeping up appearances in and out of the workplace. If you look and feel your best, you’ll be more likely come across as confident and put yourself in networking situations that may otherwise seem daunting.
- Keep your eyes and ears open.
Now that you’ve upgraded your online and physical persona and are putting yourself out there, take full advantage by forcing yourself to staying alert. Check job postings and meet and listen to peers at happy hours or other events. As Ed as personally learned, leads often come from the most unexpected places!
- Apply yourself.
Once you have the contact or info that paves a way for the job of your dreams, make a move fast. Too often, people sit on opportunities while they think about them or prepare their applications (your resume should be good to go now anyway) while another candidate lands it just for getting there early.
- Follow up (and through).
There’s also much to be said for timeliness when it comes to following up. If you say you’re going to email a contact after meeting them out and about, do it. And if you’re lucky enough to get the interview, send a thank you within the next day or so. You didn’t come all this way to then read as disinterested or non-reliable to someone else.
- Keep learning.
In addition to job searching and networking, a great way to stay focused and valuable is to keep up with what’s going on around you. Read the news (both world and industry) and publications you want to work at, along with their competitors. Take classes (Ed offers them regularly!) to hone your craft or develop a new skill set. You may also want to look into intern or freelance work that will help you develop your profile in an area where you don’t already have the experience.