Job Search

New Year, New Job?
5 Quick Ways to Prepare Now

new year new job

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.

  1. Take inventory

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.

  1. 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.

Also read: What Really Happens When Recruiters Read Your Resume (and how to make sure you pass the test)

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Also read: 5 Kinds of Interviews You Need to be Prepared For

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.

About the Author

Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach, corporate trainer and public speaker who believes work can be a nourishing part of the life experience. Her website, Eat Your Career, is devoted to this mission. Chrissy is currently a contributing career expert for U.S. News & World Report and the author of the book, The Proactive Professional: How to Stop Playing Catch Up and Start Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life!), available on Amazon.