The New Year looks promising for job seekers. The devastating recession that hit several years ago is behind us – and the hiring landscape is promising. For instance, the annual Job Outlook Survey by NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers) reports that in 2016, companies plan to hire 11 percent more new graduates than they did in 2015.
So, if you plan to find your dream job within the next 12 months, that’s one New Year’s resolution you may actually be able to keep – with the right strategy in place.
Define your ideal job.
Before you can activate your 2016 job search plan, be sure to ask yourself what you’re good at – and what you really love to do. Take a few steps back, look at the whole picture, and then, explore which opportunities make the most sense in terms of your future outlook.
Make an action plan.
Every career goal you set should be accompanied by a timeline and a list of items to accomplish, with clear action steps marked on your calendar.
- Be specific. For instance, mark your calendar to go online three times a week to research potential employers or submit applications.
- Decide on your target companies. Decide which organizations you’d like to work for and which openings hold the most interest for you. Don’t shy away from “hopefuls.” That’s what this list is designed for: going after the job that is exactly what you are most interested in. From there, you can compile all your support materials: tailored resumes and cover letters, your reference list and portfolio and others as needed.
- Do your research. Get a leg up on the competition by learning as much as you can about the companies that interest you. This goes well beyond the material on their websites. Read relevant news articles and familiarize yourself with industry developments and lingo. Get in the hiring manager’s head by figuring out what a company needs and how you can provide a solution. Make sure your knowledge, interest and passion shine through.
- Invest in steps to become better qualified. This may mean taking a class, joining a professional association or volunteering in your desired industry.
- Track your progress. Use documents and files that you can easily access – whether it’s an Excel spreadsheet or notes on your phone. You’ll get closer to your dream job by staying organized in your search.
Build a networking strategy that enables you to make the most worthwhile connections, both on and offline.
- Think of people who work for your dream companies and reach out to them. It’s good to be on their radar screen, even if there is no position available at the moment. Keep an open mind and cast a wide net. Start with your LinkedIn connections and branch out from there.
Find an accountability buddy.
Your goals are useless unless you’re accountable to them. Find a trustworthy friend and designate a day each week to give them a call or send an email with an update on your job search progress. Put this action item on your calendar, too. If you have to do it on your own, then designate a time each week to self-assess.
A professional recruiter can offer invaluable support as you kick your job search into high gear in 2016. Consider partnering with an expert from CPS Recruitment®. We can help you to make that new job in the New Year a reality that is well within reach. Contact us now to learn more!