Wow, December is here and another year is right around the corner. Wasn't it just yesterday when we all rang in the New Year 2011?
Like it or not, 2012 is coming fast. Apocalyptic predictions aside, this is a wonderful opportunity for job seekers to refresh, start new, and jump with both feet into the job search.
For many industries, January is a great month to get hired. After the holiday season, companies in the black will take on extra talent to keep going strong. This also marks the beginning of the first quarter of the year.
How can job seekers get ahead early and get hired in 2012? Here's a checklist for you to update your job search for the New Year:
Rewrite your resume
Your resume needs a makeover. Start with a blank piece of paper and write out what you want employers to know about you. Change the format, font, and anything else you see fit.
Not only does this help you refocus, but, if you find yourself applying to companies a second or third time, this new resume won't reek of "you've seen this before" to HR.
Check out: Back to Basics: Writing a Resume
Start over with social media
Social media is already important in today's job search. So, hopefully, you're already using some kind of social media site. Maybe a Facebook profile or LinkedIn page or something that combines the best of both of these into a career networking app like Cachinko... Whatever it might be, re-introduce yourself.
You don't need to completely start over again from scratch, but look through your profile, privacy settings, connections, and content and figure out what should stay for the upcoming year.
Make new connections
Networking is so very important, online and off. So, why not ring in the New Year with new connections? Ask your friends to make introductions or connect with someone new online.
You don't need to become best friends, but establishing the groundwork now can lead to a beneficial connection.
Stock your toolbox
While the most important job search tool you have is you, there are a number of other things you should keep well-stocked in your "job search toolbox" of sorts. Maintain your computer and mobile devices, buy a new set of thank you notes and business cards, and get a solid interview outfit that is ready and polished.
Get a goal
In your job search, you might think your only goal is to land another job. That's true, but getting another goal will keep you sane and potentially make you more attractive to employers.
Try learning a new skill or reaching a professional accomplishment in the freelance sector. Whatever it is, stick to it.
Know the system
It's really easy to throw up your hands and declare the job search system broken. However, that's not going to get you a job. Instead of trying to get your methods to work, get to know current HR practices and your industry's hiring practices. Take the time to learn now and you'll save a lot of strife.
Jump on the blog bandwagon
Looking for job search advice? Look no further than your own computer! Of course, you found this article, but you should know that the blogosphere is full of blogs that can help you find the job search advice right for you.
The Cynical Gal has a comprehensive list of all the blogs you could possibly imagine. Add these to the RSS reader of your choice and check out your blogs frequently.
Try new tactics
Whether you prefer to lurk job boards or send out unsolicited resumes, know that sticking to one method can really hurt your job search. Instead of sticking with the tried and true, try out new job search tactics, like the Rule of Thirds or networking.
Work while looking for work
If you were an employer considering a candidate for a job, what would you think if they were unemployed for several months? Whatever the excuse may be, a large gap between jobs is a definite red flag.
If a job is hard to come by, "work" during your job search. Take on a part-time position, volunteer, or even teach a class. When you account for your time out of work, the employer won't imagine you sitting on the couch eating chips.
Join the club
No matter where you live, what industry you work in, or what level you're at, there's bound to be a professional organization or club out there for you. Organizations can help you network, gain job leads, and learn new strategies.
What do you think? What other job search resolutions would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Tony Morrison is the Vice President of Business Development at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. His roles include sales, marketing, and business development. He is passionate about building B2B and B2C client relationships and brings this passion to Cachinko where he focuses on helping job seekers to find their ideal job and employers to find, attract, and engage their next rock star candidates. Find him on Twitter and Talent Connection. And, connect with Cachinko on Facebook or Twitter.
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