Six job seeker goals for the new yearBrian - January 2, 2021
Sleep better. Start a new workout routine. Practice mindfulness. By making resolutions to improve your life, you might also be setting career goals, such as exploring the job market.
That said, you can’t just wish for a more rewarding career; you have to work to get it.
To help you find a position that matches your skills, experience, and interests, get started today to achieve these job search goals:
Goal 1: Update your CV and LinkedIn profile
There are probably a thousand other things you would rather do than write a CV. But you’ll be doing yourself a favor by having an up-to-date resume handy.
One of the mistakes people often make is to wait until a job interests them before changing their CV. This prevents them from applying for the job right away, and by the time they finally have an updated version ready to send, sometimes it is too late. So don’t delay.
While you’re at it, check your LinkedIn profile and make sure it reflects your most recent professional accomplishments. Your profile is like your online resume, and many employers search for candidates on LinkedIn as part of their recruiting process. You want your profile to show the same information as your regular CV.
Another benefit of having a neat LinkedIn profile is that recruiters often use LinkedIn to spot passive job seekers. By maintaining a good online profile, you increase the likelihood that a recruiter will be interested in you more closely.
Goal 2: Improve your skills
Even in a pre-candidate job market, you should strive to gain an edge over other job seekers. To get there, consider learning new skills or getting certifications. No matter what career or industry you choose, changes are happening all around you. You may need to develop your skills to remain relevant and attractive to employers.
Your professional development efforts demonstrate that you take initiative, have a willingness to stay up to date, and know what it takes to excel in your field. It also makes it easier for you to answer the question that all hiring managers are likely to ask you in one way or another: “How can you add value to the business?”.
Having certain skills and professional designations can also help you negotiate a better salary (Robert Half’s salary guides provide insight into how much employers are willing to pay professionals with skills and sought-after certifications for some positions).
Goal 3: Prioritize job satisfaction
Now is a good time to assess your job search goals – as well as your personal aspirations – and determine exactly what type of job opportunity you are looking for. This is what many professionals do as we approach a new year, leaving behind a very disruptive year.
Perhaps you would like to work in another field, for example? Or take on a more fulfilling position with more responsibility? Perhaps you are looking for a remote work opportunity with a flexible schedule? Get a clear idea of what you are looking for, to better target your search for a new position.
Goal 4: Check your online presence
You can assume that all potential employers will view your LinkedIn profile (see Goal 1). Some will also look at other networks to see if they can get a more complete picture of you as a candidate for a job. Think about how you present yourself on social media and online forums. You may need to do a little digital cleanup.
Make sure all information is accurate, up-to-date, and presented to you in the most beneficial light possible. If you don’t want a potential employer to see anything in particular – recent vacation photos or your ‘hot’ comments about a politician or a sports team’s poor performance, for example – check your settings confidentiality.
Goal 5: Develop your professional network
Your professional network can play a vital role in your ability to meet your job search goals. Instead of networking in person during the pandemic, look for virtual events hosted by professional or alumni organizations, or other groups relevant to your profession or industry.
Also, connect with new contacts on LinkedIn and ask your colleagues, mentors, and trusted friends for their recommendations. Be both strategic and authentic in your connection requests. And don’t stop connecting with the professional contacts you already have.
Goal 6: Show perseverance
Most employers today take great care in choosing candidates who are likely to thrive in their unique business. So even if you are one of the top candidates, you may have to wait weeks and go through several interviews before you hear about a final decision.
Do not be discouraged. But don’t just wait for an employer to make their choice. Keep in touch with the hiring manager. Continue to network. Continue to apply for other jobs that interest you. And consider building a solid relationship with a recruiter. After all, nothing is safe until signing.
Good luck in achieving your job search goals – and all of your other goals for the new year!