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23 top tips for maximizing your job search in the new year

Top 23 Best Tips To Land a New Job in the New Year

If you're looking for a new job, there's no better time to start your search than in the new year. This period allows you to embrace the spirit of change and apply for newly opened positions that employers are seeking to fill. Get ready to optimize your search by reviewing these 23 top tips for landing a new job in the new year. With our advice, you can stand out from the competition and advance your career goals. 

1. Do some introspection

Before you leave your old job behind, consider doing some introspection. Ask yourself why you want to change careers, whether it be because of the need for a higher income or more challenging work. In some cases, you might be able to obtain what you desire in your current role by asking for a raise or accepting additional responsibilities.

2. Set goals

If introspection reveals that your current job won't cut it, set goals for your new career. You can give yourself a realistic timeline of when you want to start applying for jobs and by when you'd like to have a new career. You might also set goals relating to salary and the type of company for which you'd like to work.

3. Pursue professional development

While you're searching for jobs, try pursuing professional development to make yourself a more desirable candidate. You might earn relevant industry certifications, earn a postsecondary degree, or complete training. This approach allows you to learn new skills and can help you appear more confident and credible to potential employers.

4. Revamp your resume

If it's been a while since you've job hunted, revamp your resume to display your most recent accomplishments. You might implement other tips to ensure that your resume stands out to hiring managers:

  • Create a header with your name and contact information.
  • Use a clean format and plenty of white space.
  • Quantify workplace achievements when describing responsibilities.

5. Write a compelling cover letter

Many employers request candidates to submit cover letters with their applications. Use this document to elaborate on the information you included in your resume and emphasize the value you could bring to a company.

6. Read job descriptions

Instead of blindly submitting your resume and cover letters to different listings, read job descriptions thoroughly. Evaluate whether you meet the qualifications and tailor your application by using relevant keywords.

7. Join professional networking sites

Join professional networking sites to get access to more job postings and communicate with recruiters. With an optimized profile, employers might even reach out to you first.

8. Collect professional references

Many employers value the opinion of former bosses and coworkers when hiring candidates. Consider asking between one and three of your former colleagues for a letter and provide them with information you'd like them to include in the letter.

9. Build an impressive portfolio

If you're in a creative field like programming, web development, or marketing, build an impressive portfolio. Showcasing your best work helps employers understand your capabilities and whether you'd be a good fit for the company.

10. Amp up your networking efforts

While networking can be intimidating, it can be an effective way to land a job through personal connections. Trying building relationships online and in person with your professors, coworkers, bosses, and friends in the industry.

11. Turn on job alerts

Consider turning on job alerts to routinely review the most recent postings that are relevant to your career goals. You can turn on email alerts through CareerBuilder and stay on top of the competitive job hunt.

12. Partner with a recruiting firm

If you need a little extra boost, consider partnering with a recruiting firm. Recruiters help you with the heavy lifting by evaluating your qualifications and connecting you with compatible employers.

13. Target growing occupations

Use a source like the Bureau of Labor Statistics to tailor your job search to the fastest-growing occupations. You might increase your job opportunities by aiming for a career with a high growth rate like nurse practitioner, wind turbine service technician, or data scientist.

14. Research the market

It can be easy to accept the first job offer you get, but consider researching the market to level the playing field. Understanding the market's standard benefits and compensation helps ensure you don't settle for anything less than what your qualifications are worth.

15. Keep an open mind

A simple yet effective way to improve your job search is by keeping an open mind. Considering opportunities you might not normally think about could help you start a career. This approach entails talking with recruiters who approach you, asking lots of questions during interviews, and objectifying your decision-making process by grading companies with a standardized scorecard.

"A simple yet effective way to improve your job search is by keeping an open mind. Considering opportunities you might not normally think about could help you start a career."

16. Consider an internal career change

Maybe you're not a fan of your current position but love your current company. If that's the case, consider applying internally for other roles that suit your interests. Your experience might make you a more desirable candidate than external applicants.

17. Be responsive

Employers are often as eager to fill empty positions as you are to get a job. Try to respond promptly to interview requests or questions about your qualifications to ensure other candidates don't beat you to the punch. Additionally, prompt replies can demonstrate your good work ethic and eagerness to work for the company.

18. Aim high

If you're interested in a job but don't meet all the requirements that the posting lists, apply anyway. Employers might be willing to train motivated candidates that express interest in career development.

19. Refine your interview skills

When it's time to interview in the new year, be sure you're prepared by refining essential skills. You can rehearse answers to example interview questions and practice delivering your responses to a friend.

20. Follow up

If you don't hear back from the employer within five business days of an interview, send a follow-up email. The employer is likely to appreciate the helpful reminder amid their busy new-year schedules.

21. Schedule time

If you want to be successful with changing careers, pretend that the job hunt is an actual job. You can dedicate a specific amount of time each day to tweaking your resume and cover letter, applying to jobs, networking, responding to recruiters, and participating in interviews. By scheduling this time, you can hold yourself accountable and put in the necessary effort.

22. Use multiple methods

While there's nothing wrong with using professional networking sites to find a job, try to branch out. Using multiple methods can help you find positions that fewer candidates are vying for and expand your job opportunities. Examples of different methods to use include:

23. Be patient

As eager as you are to land a new job, be patient. Remember that it takes time for you to find the right employer. It also takes time for the employer to review applications, schedule interviews, and decide on their preferred candidates. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you find the motivation to keep job hunting and celebrate when you eventually obtain a position.

We hope that these tips help you ring in the new year with a new career. Remember to be vigilant when searching for a job, as the process can take a lot of effort. As long as you commit to the process and showcase the value you can provide to an employer, you're sure to stand out from other candidates and advance your career.

More tips for new-year job seekers

Think you might be settling for your current job? Learn how to tell if it's time to move on.

Have concerns about job hopping? Feel less alone by discovering how often each generation switches careers.

New to the workforce in the new year? Consider these high-paying career options for individuals with minimal experience.

Want to make career-based New Year's resolutions? Check out these tips for planning your job search.

After accepting your new job, you'll have to have a potentially difficult conversation with your current employer. Learn how to quit your job the right way.