Ah yes, the end of the year. Now is the time year when almost anyone with an audience looks back on the past twelve months to reflect on the best of this, and most important of that. Brief perspectives such as the “top ten list” can be very handy in providing a close-up view of a particular subject. But this time, rather than look back, I think we should all look forward with hopeful optimism, and make plans to move positively into the new year of 2012.
Here are my suggestions for the top ten things serious job seekers should vow to do in the coming year.
Drum roll please!
Rewrite your cover letter and update your resume. (I’m counting them as one because the work together!) It is time to craft communication that is tight and succinct, that clearly conveys your strengths and their relevant applicability to the jobs you are applying for. If you’re applying for different types of work, make sure that each version you write of your cover letter and resume is relevant to the jobs and companies where you want to work. Remember to take out all the irrelevant and old info that no longer pertains to your current strengths and experiences.
Refine on your elevator speech. Memorize some brief statements that clearly and concisely express your specialties, what you’re interested in doing with those skills, and the successes you’ve experienced utilizing your best attributes. You never know who you’ll run into and what you’ll need to tell them!
Update your profiles on the social networking sites. Make sure that your LinkedIn presence is completely focused on the professional you. And make sure your YouTube and Facebook ages don’t convey anything you wouldn’t want your employer to see. Keep your professional image as clean as possible.
Identify blogs and other sites relevant to your profession and start making regular contributions to their forums and discussions. Keep your content focused and on-topic and try to show that you are a leader and a professional, that your experience is up-to-date and that your contributions to your industry are making a positive impact.
Vow to make a regular contribution to the betterment of others’ lives. Commit yourself to volunteering for a local nonprofit, reading to children, feeding the homeless, mentoring a student, or performing other acts and deeds that improve the lives of others in your community. No matter how bad you think your life is, remember that there are always those who suffer far more than you do!
Update your references. Make sure anyone whose name you will use as a reference can comfortably and knowledgably talk about your strengths and integrity, and that they are aware that you are looking for work, and the kind of work you seek and the strengths you’d like them to highlight on your behalf. Never use anyone for a reference who is unaware that you are passing around their name and contact information.
Identify and research companies where you’d like to work. Dig deep into their background, history, staff, products and services to uncover names and ideas so that you can make contact with the company and show how you can make an impact on their bottom line.
Schedule informational interviews at companies where you’d like to work. The research you just did for Number 4 will reveal names of people to contact providing you the chance to be the one conducting the interview, and learning all you can about the positions, the corporate culture, and what they and what it takes to get your foot in the door.
Network, network, network! Social networking online is fine, but it doesn’t build the same kind of strong relationships of confidence and camaraderie that can be nurtured face-to-face. Get out there, meet new people, use that elevator speech and get to know other professionals in a real personal manner that can move your career forward.
And the Number 1 Job Seeker Resolution for the New Year:
Wishing you all the Best Holidays, and a Very Happy, Healthy, Safe and Prosperous New Year.
And, as always, for more tips about job search, and how to improve your odds of getting hired, please search this blog and visit: hanklondon.com