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4 Tips For Crushing Your Job Search In 2020

If this is your year to finally get that new dream job, take these steps and win.

Workin' Girl

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

Photo by Giphy

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This is the perfect time to nix outdated sections like objective statements, references, and your full mailing address.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.

Featured Photo by Shutterstock

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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