Keep your job-search momentum going through the New Year with this holiday checklist. [TWEET]
It’s conventional wisdom that successful people tend to make and follow to-do lists, and this is as true for the job search as anywhere else. As the holiday season fast approaches, keep your job hunt top of mind by making a practical job hunt list and checking it twice – or even more. Here’s what every job seeker should be sure to include on his or her list.
1) Update your resume.
Your resume should be updatedat least once a year or more if you’ve changed jobs. Don’t get too hung up on resume length, but do try to keep it around one page if you’re new to the workforce and two pages if you’re a mid-level or senior professional. Make sure it is pleasing to the eye, with a readable, professional font and layout. If you have an objective statement, update it to a professional summary and add in keywords for searchability. Above all, make sure you list the accomplishments and/or impact you’ve made at previous jobs – don’t just list your responsibilities.
2) Update your profile on job search boards.
Job boards are not the only way to get a job, but you shouldn’t neglect their existence. After you have a well-written resume filled with accomplishments, copy and paste or upload it into job search engines. A word of warning - check the formatting if you’re copying and pasting it as text. Take a few minutes to check all the job boards where you post your profile and update them whenever you update your resume.
3) Manage your social media presence.
Besides making sure that your social media profile matches your resume, you should also make sure you are current and connected by joining relevant professional groups and posting interesting content. This will establish your online credibility and may also lead to new and useful connections. Try to post updates to your profiles at least twice a week.
4) Meet new people and stay in touch with old friends.
This is a crucial part of your job search. This does not mean you should harass everyone in your contact list about job opportunities, but do stay current and let people know you’re on the market and would appreciate appropriate introductions. Find out what you can do for others as well. You’d be surprised at how often you can help.
5) Create cover letters.
This takes time, so a good idea is to have a really great template as well as some bullet points you can plug in, depending upon the position. Whenever you apply for a position, try to customize the cover letter as much as possible for that particular job. It will definitely make you stand out from the pack.
By diligently following this job-search checklist, you can make sure that you are maximizing your time and efforts appropriately and positioning yourself to start the New Year with a new career.