Cheers to the New Year!
Let’s start with some good news. According to the December LinkedIn Workforce Report, “U.S. hiring has, on average, been 10.4% higher in 2017 than in 2016.”
If this trends continues, prepared job seekers will find greater employment opportunities. The key term here is “prepared.” You need to make a plan, have your job search tools (resume, LinkedIn profile, references, etc.) ready to go at a moment’s notice. What else can you do to tip the job search scales in your favor?
Map out a year long goal list broken down by quarters, months and weeks. Have you heard the saying “A goal without a plan is just a dream”? Take the time NOW to map out where you want to go and how you want to get there. We know, it’s not rocket science. Yet, vague, unwritten goals aren’t going to get you anywhere. Having a tangible record of where you stand and how you are going to move forward gives you momentum. It can be on a calendar, in a word document or other medium. The main point is to draft out what the plan is. The more detailed, the better. Start with the big goal and then work your way backward. For example, say the goal is to get a new job by May:
January – Week 1 – Start resume, Week 2 – Update LinkedIn Profile, Week 3 – Start researching jobs and job listings, Week 4 – Attend new networking event
February – Week 1 – Set up informational interview, Week 2 – Start being more active on LinkedIn, Week 3 – Go to local job fair, Week 4 – Prepare references list
Your tasks may vary, but the important thing is to commit to action and then follow through.
Anticipate Setbacks Life happens. You may get sick, your babysitter may cancel, you may have to do overtime at work. So many things can happen that can set you off course. When disruptions occur, you can either falter or go to Plan B. For example, if you had planned on devoting an hour to redoing your resume at night, but an ill child made that impossible, you need to reschedule it to another night or the weekend. This may mean cancelling other plans. This part of the process is not fun. However, some sacrifice is needed on your journey. The perseverance will be worth it.
Start being skill focused. Aspirations are all well and good, but at the end of the day, it’s imperative that you keep your skill set up by continually growing and learning in your field. LinkedIn recently rolled out a new feature that lets you know how you stand skill-wise when it comes to people with similar job titles. Their new monthly notification suggests relevant skills among people with your same job title. Why is this important? Well, to start, recruiters search for employees by skill.
Consider this – “Those with five or more skills on their profile are discovered up to 27x more in searches by recruiters.” Source: LinkedIn Official Blog, 12/8/17
If that doesn’t give you motivation to add more skills to your LinkedIn profile, we don’t know what does.
Not feeling up to speed on a particular skill? No problem – LinkedIn learning offers a FREE MONTH of the “most in-demand business, tech and creative skills from industry experts.” It’s a good start, and easy to do from home. You can even search and filter courses by skill level, type and time to complete (as seen below).
Pick your battles wisely
Are you looking to get a new job, lose a lot of weight, save a ton of money and travel the country in 2018? Wow – those are admirable aspirations. Just be careful to not bite off more than you can chew. It can easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. It might be better to plan out one big goal (the job search for example) and embark on the others as secondary goals. For instance, healthy eating and moderate exercise will make you healthier and more confident during your job search, but instead of aiming to lose twenty pounds, go for ten instead. Pressuring yourself with too much, too fast, and too unrealistic is just going to backfire.
Take these tips and go for your goals this year. We’re excited to hear about how well you do! Keep checking back throughout the year for follow up blog posts on how you can take your job search journey to the next level.
As always, thank you for reading! #Happy2018
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