You've made your New Year's resolution. This is the year that you will finally get a new job. Whether your current job has been draining, unfulfilling, or just downright boring, you have made the decision that 2020 is the year things change. And honestly, you're not alone. According to a recent American Staffing Association (ASA) survey conducted by The Harris Poll, about 48% of employed adults plan to search for a new job this year. So almost half of the workforce is ready for a fresh start in the new decade.
But what do you need to do in order to make that career move this year? How do you ensure success in your search? Here are four tips to get your started:
Set Concrete Goals
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To start your search off on the right foot, you need to answer specific questions. This will help you to focus your efforts and prevent you from casting an overly wide net, while determining how you need to position yourself in the marketplace. Think through the following:
- What kind of job do you want?
- What are you looking for from your next job that your current job doesn't provide?
- Where is the new job located?
- How much money do you want to make?
- What industry are you working in?
- Are there specific companies you want to focus on?
- What level of position are you looking for?
- How soon do you want to start?
It is essential for you to take the time you need to get clear on what you want. You can't get frustrated with not finding the best opportunities for your career if you aren't even sure what those opportunities are.
Get Your Resume Right
This is the perfect time to nix outdated sections like objective statements, references, and your full mailing address. (No one is sending you snail mail about potential jobs in 2020). Edit your work history to eliminate irrelevant or older positions (more than 15 years). Make sure that you are targeting your resume content for the specific jobs you want to apply for. Incorporate relevant keywords from the job description to optimize your resume for the Web. Swap the laundry list of tasks for each job with fewer, more concise bullets highlighting accomplishments and major contributions.
When it comes to formatting, choose a layout appropriate for your industry. If you are in a creative field like graphic design or photography, your resume should typically look different from one written for legal or finance positions. Exercise caution. Given you will be submitting the majority of your applications online, you need to ensure that the format you select can be easily read by the applicant tracking system (ATS). Therefore, resist the urge to include busy graphs or other elements that may cause your resume to be filtered out automatically.
Pro Tip: After making all of your edits, don't forget to take a step back and read your resume with a cold pair of eyes. What impression does it give the reader? For example, does it read as an entry-level resume when you've got several years of experience? Does it position you as a high-quality candidate?
Work Your LinkedIn
Let's be honest. You know you need a LinkedIn profile. (You should already have one!) In 2020, take your profile to the next level. Copying and pasting your work experience and education from your resume won't cut it. Create an engaging profile with a headline and summary that draws readers in. Utilize the Skills section to highlight your expertise and make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to find you. Leverage the Accomplishments section to showcase your major wins and achievements. You can add languages, publications, even patents. Start following the companies that interest you so that you can learn about new opportunities and start engaging with their content.
Outside of your profile, get started on building meaningful relationships through the platform. This does not mean you should blindly send requests to everyone at the companies you want to work for. Find key decision makers, recruiters, hiring managers, etc. and send out connection requests with custom invitations. For individuals who most likely receive a high volume of requests, it's critical to be clear and intentional with your invitation.
Then engage with their posts. Don't just look for posts about open positions. If they're talking about what's happening in the industry, share your perspective. Demonstrate that you have relevant knowledge and expertise. Create organic exchanges that can open the door for offline conversations.
Network In Real Life
"It's not what you know, but who you know."
Speaking of offline conversations, LinkedIn is a fantastic place to make connections, but if possible, they shouldn't stay there. You can leverage LinkedIn to set up informal phone conversations, video conferences, or coffee chats.
But LinkedIn is just one medium. Make an additional effort to build and expand your network outside of online platforms. Join relevant professional or trade associations and attend their events. If you are a member of a sorority, become active in their local chapter and connect with other members. Tap into your existing network of friends and colleagues and ask for introductions in their networks. Per CNBC, research shows that 70% of all jobs are not published on public job search sites and up to 80% of jobs are filled through networking.
You can get the job you want in 2020. Once you set your goals, you just have to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
For more information about Julia Rock, check out Rock Career Development or follow her on Instagram.
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