As we enter a new year, job seekers should follow this list of resolutions to prepare for the start of a new career. 2021 should be a year to focus on hope, growth and new opportunities ahead. Listed below are some tips on how to begin the process of finding a great new career this year.
Update Your Resume
Set aside some time to focus on perfecting your resume. Add your most recent experiences and new skills to impress employers. Be sure to highlight accomplishments. Your resume should tell a story vs. being just a list of tasks/responsibilities. It’s also a good idea to have someone else like a mentor, advisor, coach, or working professional look over it before submitting it to employers.
Clean up Your Social Media
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to audit your accounts. Go through your social media sites and delete anything that doesn’t showcase your best self or fit into your personal brand. Employers and recruiters will be checking your social media and it could be the difference between you and another candidate.
Write Down Professional Goals
Writing down your professional goals at the beginning of the year clarifies exactly what you want to accomplish, and it will help you hold yourself accountable. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and timely (SMART). Then come up with a plan to help you achieve them. Individuals who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them.
Expand Your Skills
Search job boards and read through the skill requirements for positions that interest you. If you find recurring skills that you don’t possess yet, it’s a good idea to learn how you can acquire them before applying to new positions. The more skills you have the more hirable and desirable you’ll be.
Target Favorable Companies
Create a list of companies you’d like to work for with the reasons you find them desirable. Do you like their company culture? Is it because they have many opportunities for growth? Are they a local startup or a well-established company? Then target those companies by reaching out to employees or alumni to expand your network and learn about their experiences. Continuously check the companies page on LinkedIn and other job boards for open job positions and apply when available.
Setup a Professional Video Background
With COVID-19 still in the picture, it’s important to prepare for virtual interviews. Set up a space in your house that’s dedicated to interviews. This could be at a desk or table in a quiet room with a clear background to limit distractions.
Practice your interview skills with friends or family and have them provide honest and constructive feedback so you know what to work on in the future. You can also Google common interview questions to prepare your responses in advance.
Most employers look for candidates with volunteer experience. How were you able to give back to your community or help others in need without being rewarded? Seek out volunteer opportunities this year to show employers your motivation and dedication to your community.
Apply to an Internship or Project to Build Work Experience
Internships and cooperative education experiences are great ways to gain exposure to practical work opportunities. This is a way for job seekers to have a taste of what the real world is like in the field of their choice and to determine what they enjoyed and what they didn’t. Employers look for candidates with real world experience who have more knowledge and applicable skills to bring to the table.
With GradLeaders, it's easy for career center staff or job seekers to quickly create tasks then add due dates and reminders. Career center can simply copy & paste the tasks above into a new CareerTracker Task Template then publish it to any or all students or alumni using the platform. And students can quickly add their own tasks right within their candidate portal.
Need help reaching your goals or sticking to your resolutions? Contact your career center at any time. Often times, they have technology like GradLeaders that can simplify all of this for you. Got other ideas for resolutions? Add them in the comments below:
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