Get Inspired With Our 2015 Job Search Checklist

“Get a better job” is among the most popular New Year’s resolutions, according to the federal government. This comes as no surprise to us at Simply Hired. We traditionally see visitors to simplyhired.com increase by 30 percent each January compared to the previous December. January is historically one of our busiest job search months each year.

If you, like many of your colleagues, feel it’s time to reboot and start fresh in your career, here are some suggestions to get you started.

1. List what you’re thankful for

Attitude impacts everything in your job search, from when, how and how long you look for work to how you present yourself during interviews. No amount of applications, networking or job fairs will compensate if you are feeling depressed, unmotivated and bitter.

Give yourself an attitude boost by listing five things that you’re thankful for in your life. Do you have a friend, family member or pet that loves you? Do you have indoor plumbing? (Some 1.6 million Americans don’t.) Do you have electricity in your home? Do you have a place to live? Did you laugh about anything last week? Did you eat anything wonderful recently? Even when times are tough, you can likely find a few things to be grateful for.

2. Create a daily goal list

Sometimes a job search can seem like a never-ending flood of tasks. You can always apply to one more job, and it’s easy to fall into a guilt-induced trap of feeling like you’re not doing enough. Remember that attitude impacts everything, and it’s hard to maintain a positive attitude when you feel that you’re not doing enough.

This is where a daily goal list comes into play. A simple checklist of no more than three goals can help you stay on track, give you a sense of productivity and allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment as you check off the items. Even better, an organized, consistent approach to your search is also more likely to result in a job. Consider the following example.

  1. Apply to three companies
  2. Send a “just catching up” email to two former coworkers, contacts or people in your industry (your network)
  3. Read one article online about one of the following topics: job search/interviewing/resume tips, trends in your industry, employment trends, national or world news

3. Revisit your finances

You may not be able to control when you’ll find a job, but you can exercise at least some control over the money you’re currently spending. If you don’t know where your money goes each month, make it a priority to figure it out now. Once you know how much money you require to live, you can look at tradeoffs in terms of your job search.

For example:

  • Eliminating three coffees from Starbucks = one lunch to network with your old boss
  • Eliminating your cable TV package and watching YouTube videos or Hulu for two months = groceries for one additional month that you might be unemployed
  • Eliminating a night on the town with friends = a potluck movie night at someone’s house + a haircut and a tank of gas before your next interview

4. Determine your minimum standards

If you have been looking for a job for a long time, you may have fallen prey to well-meaning friends and relatives who suggest that you take any job, even one outside of your field or below your desired salary. Depending on your situation, this might be good advice. But proactively thinking about the timetable and plan that works for you will help you to manage your job search as well as respond to your friends in a deliberate way.

Create a flowchart for your job search and think through what triggers make sense for your personal situation.

For example:standards

The right job for you is out there. And at Simply Hired, we’re doing everything we can to help you make 2015 the year of finding a job that you love. Good luck and Happy New Year.