Right now, everyone is looking ahead and setting goals for the new year.
If you’re considering launching a job search in 2017, there’s no reason to wait for January 1st to start taking action. Be proactive and set yourself up for future success by getting your job search off on the right foot today.
Here are 5 quick ways to prepare.
Now is the perfect time to take stock of what’s working in your career and what’s not. Evaluate your skill set; determine where there are gaps you need to fill and how you will make that happen. Take note of your achievements from the past year and capture the critical details while the information is still fresh in your mind.
Identifying these things now will help ensure you make intelligent decisions in the future. With self-knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to recognize which opportunities to seize and which to let go.
Update your resume
Resume revision often takes much longer than most people think it will. If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it’s time to dust it off and review it with a fresh pair of eyes. Considering your options, you may want to create a few different versions, one for each role you may be interested in pursuing.
Remember to highlight accomplishments and results, not job duties. Take the time you need to identify specific metrics—numbers that prove the value of your contributions. Starting early means you’ll be able to go back and do the research that may be required to gather accurate information.
Activate your network
Your professional network is your most valuable asset during a job search. However, if you haven’t connected with these people in a while, it’s time to get active. Don’t wait until you need a favor (like a referral or introduction) to reach out. Drop your professional contacts a note and wish them “happy holidays.” Ask about their goals for 2017 and how you can help. Remember that your network is only as useful as you are, so give first. When you’re ready to receive, they’ll be more inclined to give back.
Research target companies
The most effective job searches are targeted. The old “spray and pray” method (where you send off your resume to as many different places as possible and hope for the best) no longer works in today’s competitive environment. It’s a far better use of your time to target specific companies you’d like to be a part of. Put your feelers out now to learn what organizations in your market might be a potentially good fit for future employment.
Prepare for interviews
It’s never too early to start practicing for job interviews. Get comfortable speaking about your past work experience and achievements. The more you talk about these things, the easier they will be to recall when needed. You don’t want to be cramming before a big interview. Starting now will help ease your nerves and boost your confidence in the future.
These things are all easy to put off, but they’re also critical to your job search success. Failing to prepare ahead of time will only delay your progress in the future. Taking a few simple steps now will ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running on January 1st.