If you are among the millions of Americans who resolved to get a new job in 2016, count yourself part of a very large section of the population. A Marist University poll estimates 10% of all Americans with a New Year's resolution target landing a new job in the new year.
Setting a career goal is great, but as so many of us can attest, keeping a New Year's resolution is a challenge. The same poll reports almost 40% of those who propose resolutions fail to adhere to them.
As with any goal, the first step to success is entering your New Year's job search with a plan. Compare devising your job-search blueprint to the most popular resolution, weight loss.
A common misconception about job hunting is successful methods are universal. However, like a weight-loss regimen, what works for one person is not guaranteed to work for another.
Take the carpeting method of job hunting. Perhaps you are in a rut at your current position and just want something -- anything -- new. You are willing to take on a different challenge whatever it may be, and apply to dozens of positions to that end.
Your chances of getting an interview increase with the more resumes you send out, much like a crash diet or boot-camp workout routine will help you shed pounds. However, much like the strict diet and exercise plan, carpeting prospective employers can lead to fatigue quickly.
If you resolve to find any new job, be prepared to regularly craft different cover letters and tailor your resume to the specific position for which you are applying. Lazily sending the same resume and a template cover letter when applying for numerous jobs diminishes your odds at an interview, so commit to doing the work necessary to update your portfolio many times.
To avoid burnout, begin with a list of jobs you would do and jobs you absolutely won't consider. Why bother applying and interviewing if you have no interest, when you'll be stuck right back in the rut?
Next, determine the basement pay grade at which you will leave your current position. Lastly, are you willing to move? And if so,
Once you have these categories defined, your pool of prospective employers becomes more manageable, but still wide enough to see results.
Searching for a specific job is much more of a slow burn. Say your New Year's job resolution is landing that dream gig you envisioned yourself having as a teenage. Much like slimming down to your college weight, getting your dream job won't happen overnight.
Entering into this kind of job search requires a detailed blueprint, which starts with a thorough description of the position's responsibilities. Perhaps you need a skill you have not yet cultivated in the workforce, in which case you can consider community college or certified online courses.
Also spend as much time crafting the perfect resume and cover letter. Since you are seeking just one job, there's no reason your portfolio shouldn't be 100% tailored to this dream gig. Highlight every strength that might be of use in this role, and consider unique means of promoting yourself. Perhaps include short video testimonials from colleagues and supervisors, which your prospective employer can easily access, like a DropBox file or private YouTube account.
Once you set the right foundation, your New Year's job search becomes considerably more manageable. Best of luck finding that career in 2016.