Lots of resolutions have been made and broken since 2016 arrived, but smart job seekers are staying focused on their goal to find the right new opportunity. Human resources pros confirm that January-February is the best recruiting cycle of the year. The next best recruiting cycle is September-October. So, don’t wait. Make this one resolution you won’t break.
Recruiters agree that job seekers who make contact at the start of hiring cycles have the best chances of landing jobs. Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, this is the right time to consider “what’s next.” Ask yourself: Are you happy in your current job? Are you where you want to be long-term? Do you want to improve your current employment status? Do you think you’ll want to switch careers in the next five years? It doesn’t cost you anything to ask yourself these questions and mentally noddle through the answers.
Whether you are actively looking for a job or just having passing thoughts about future career moves, this is the logical time to resolve to develop a career game plan. You can’t wait for the job to find you. As you reignite your networking skills, develop an action-focused game plan and chart your progress. Five key elements of this game plan:
- Create a job search spreadsheet. Track every aspect of your search. The spreadsheet captures important contact information as well as reminders of the contacts you’ve already made. Intense job searches have a lot of moving parts so it is easy to become confused about what you’ve done and need to do. One job seeker recently told me that she missed a job opportunity because she forgot to follow up as requested by an agency recruiter who asked her to get back in touch in a few weeks. Lesson learned: Don’t rely on the HR department to contact you when that opening occurs.
- What’s Missing? Assess what you might be missing in your skills portfolio. Enroll in a workshop or academic course that allows you to build skills that make you more marketable.
- Research. Spend at least 90 minutes every day checking out the top job search engines, but don’t end there. Then, look up the organizations posting openings. Look for insights that might allow you to more effectively position yourself in your cover letter and resume.
- Network. Network. Network. Attend luncheons, receptions and other events hosted by public relations and business groups. While getting reacquainted with people you already know, resolve to meet at least one new person at each event.
- Follow-Up. People are busier now than ever, so don’t expect them to remember you unless you remind them of your existence. Check in with all key contacts every six weeks. Even if you’re happy with your current career trajectory, touch bases with your key contacts and friends at least twice a year. Drop them a note about something you know of interest to them or just let them about something you’re proud about having done. People love positive people who love what they’re doing. And don’t forget to thank those who help you along the way.
Get additional tips from the Fast Company article, “How To Change Your 5 Common Career Resolutions So You’ll Actually Be More Successful.”