Tis the season to be shopping … and not just for holiday gifts. Hunting for your dream job should also be a priority, despite the hustle and bustle of December. And as you craft your 2015 New Year’s resolutions, polishing up your career search strategy should be at the top of the list.
Conduct a SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – analysis of yourself in regard to your personal brand, your resume, and the status of your job hunt approach. This will help set the stage for progress.
- Gauge what you most value, what motivates you and what unique talents you offer. By understanding what you bring to the table, you’ll be better able to articulate your strengths during interviews.
- Find out how others see you. Engage in 360-degree feedback from trusted friends and colleagues. Studies have shown that the greatest assessment comes from those who have known you for one to five years – long enough to get past initial impressions but not so long as to acquire a bias. It can be very helpful to see different perspectives of your performance as a self-improvement guide.
Revamp Your Resume
Your resume is your primary job search tool. It’s the document that opens doors to contacts and interviews and sells you, your skills and your unique expertise.
- Make sure it’s up-to-date. Are there new skills or certifications that need to be added? If you’ve completed relevant coursework, are volunteering or handling temporary assignments while job hunting, be sure to include this information. It fills resume gaps and portrays you as a go-getter who is turning a less-than-ideal situation into a growth opportunity.
- Check for keywords. Be sure your resume is optimally constructed for the Internet and databases. Identify keywords in job postings and include them.
Update Your Online Presence
Refresh your social media profile and clean it up if necessary. Rev up activity – and remove anything you don’t want a potential employer to see.
- Update LinkedIn. Be sure all information is consistent with your latest resume. Delete anything that’s become outdated or irrelevant.
- Keep Facebook, Twitter and other platforms squeaky clean. If necessary, change your privacy settings. Review any photos that may have been posted since your last check to ensure they uphold your desired image.
- Share your expertise. Participate in industry groups. Blog. Extend your network and reach out to help others. When you share your time and talents, people remember you.
Step up Your Networking
Supplement social media with more face-to-face networking. The two should complement – not replace – one another.
- Your network is as strong as the effort you put into it. Set up a schedule to attend new events with people you haven’t previously met. Be active in your professional associations, reaching out to new contacts rather than huddling with the same people at every conference or meeting.
- Check in with your professional references. Be sure it’s okay to continue using them. Update their contact information as needed. This also reminds them that you’re still actively seeking employment.
The recruitment team at Contemporary Personnel Staffing and Professionals Incorporated can assist as you revitalize your job search for the year ahead. Check out our candidate resource center or contact us at (315) 457-2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.