Ring in the New Year with a New Job

Interview-handshake-620x480The new year is an ideal time to breathe new life into your job search, especially with job growth projected to increase going into 2015. Whether you’re currently employed or actively looking for work, make the most of the post-holiday lull by organizing your job search goals with these five tips.

  • Identify Your Career Goals

It’s not always easy to identify your ideal career, but there are tools that exist to help your discover your true passion. One way to move in the right direction is to identify things you like to do, the types of work environments that appeal to you and even the types of people you enjoy working with. Ask your friends and family members what they perceive as your biggest strengths. Try out career assessment tools and personality quizzes that can help you learn more about jobs that may be good matches for your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Get Organized

The job search process involves lots of time, and lots to keep track of. It’s not uncommon for an active job seeker to submit applications for hundreds of positions before landing employment. Virtual organization tools like Huntsy, Evernote or Jibber Jobber help you stay on top of emails, relationships and deadlines. Because properly managing your job search is just as important as identifying job opportunities and submitting your application.

  • Clean House

Tidy up your social media profiles, resume and references. A good rule of thumb is to not post anything on social media that you wouldn’t want your employer (or potential employer) to see. That includes badmouthing current or former bosses or oversharing about last night’s antics. While you’re at it, run a spell check on everything: 66% of hiring managers said on a Jobvite survey they would hold poor spelling and grammar against candidates. Taking a couple hours to really clean up your resume is worth doing before you start a job search, or even just once a year as a tune-up. Make sure your resume includes important keywords, is free of work history clutter and conveys the specific talents you will bring to the table. If you want additional assistance, stop by one of Goodwill’s job resource centers to receive free help in crafting a standout resume. We have trained professionals on staff who can sift through your life experiences to highlight the skills and qualifications that support your career goals and outsmart HR recruiting software.

  • Be News Savvy

Make sure you’re up-to-speed on trends in your field by reviewing the latest industry news. Search out niche sites that specialize by industry, type of employment and specialized skills. In addition to advertising job postings, good niche job boards also offer relevant news about the industry. Identify influencers in your area and follow them on social media. Then, share what you’re learning with others to brand yourself as an expert in your field.

  • Volunteer

Not only does volunteer work look good on your resume, but it also grows your network. Additionally you gain an in-depth knowledge about a specific cause.  This can be a big plus if you want a paying job relating to that mission. A study conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service tracked more than 70,000 jobless people between 2002 and 2012 and found that those who volunteered had a 27% better chance of finding a job than those who didn’t. If you’re ready to volunteer, here are some tips to help you get started.

Elizabeth Isenhour
Elizabeth Isenhour

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about finding a job?

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