The new year is a time to wipe the slate clean and start again. It’s our annual opportunity to put the past to rest, set new goals, and reinvent ourselves.
This holds true for most job seekers -- especially those who have embarked on what seems like a never ending search for employment. While starting anew feels relatively unattainable in the face of something as comprehensive as the job search, there are many ways to turn your job search around and make it even stronger in the new year.
Don’t wait until the last minute to build a resolution list for your job search. Here are seven goals your job search needs for 2013:
1. Pay Closer Attention To Detail
It’s only human nature to experience a sense of urgency during your time of unemployment, often causing you to overlook even some of the most glaring mistakes. Let this fresh start be the driving force in a personal movement to hone in on the details -- and never be afraid to ask other for a second opinion.
When it comes to reviewing job listings, key in on the nitty gritty details of each description so you can truly understand the position, thereby creating a stronger cover letter and resume. Paying closer attention to detail can also be helpful during an interview as a means of truly assessing how you present yourself to potential employers.
2. Focus On Your Skills
Too many job seekers spend their job search focusing on their previous experiences, and completely overlook the importance of the skills they’ve gained from them. Let 2013 be the year you truly assess your skill set and use it as a means to impress potential employers.
Begin by building a list of your skills and customizing it to each position for which you apply. Move the skills section of your resume to the top so it’s in the direct line of vision from the moment it reaches the eyes of the hiring manager.
3. Search Smarter
Getting hired depends on a strong well-contemplated job search strategy. Blindly sifting through an endless stream of job listings isn’t going to get you hired in the new year.
Compile a list of job boards and job aggregators, like Simply Hired, that provide the best listings for your industry and make it a point to check them at least once a day. Also spend time developing a list of companies you would be interested in working for. Check back regularly for job openings, as well as reach out directly to hiring managers to present a resume and cover letter -- even if there isn’t a position available.
4. Quality Over Quantity
Let numbers become a thing of the past in the new year. Rather than focusing on sloppily applying to every position you come across, focus on spending more time creating higher quality materials for only the most applicable job openings.
5. Manage Your Time
A smart job search depends on efficiency. Schedule your job search just like you’d schedule a work week. Create a calendar filled with goals and expectations you plan to reach. This will be more beneficial than searching for two days straight and taking a week off to recuperate.
6. Create An Elevator Pitch
Building a strong foundation for your job search, especially with regard to networking, should involve an effective elevator pitch. While easily overlooked, a short and sweet message about who you are, your accomplishments, and your future goals is absolutely essential to conquering your job search. Consider this your mission statement and let it be the driving force behind every opportunity you pursue.
7. Be Kind To Yourself
Dealing with unemployment and the job search can be trying. Use the changing of the calendar as an excuse to treat yourself better during this phase of the search. Find time to recharge, speak kinder to yourself in the face of challenges, and always leave room for giving yourself a pat on the back when you know you’ve done well -- even if you didn’t land the position.
Breathe some life into a potentially tired job search by putting these resolutions into play in your 2013 job search.
What goals have you set for your job search in 2013?
Mark Lesiw is the Vice President of Business Development at Careerleaf, an all-in-one job search platform that cuts the time to apply in half.