With the start of the new year, we enter the dreaded “resolution season”. This is the time that we make a resolution to change something in our life for the better. These intensions are the reason that our advertisements are currently filled with home exercise equipment, “better for you” food, and vitamins. All in the name of convincing ourselves we need to do something differently and change. Unfortunately, making real changes in these areas or others (such as to stop smoking) is hard and, therefore, the reason why so many resolutions end before even the month of January concludes.

There is, however, a resolution that you could make that is very doable and should really pay off for you when implemented. The resolution I am referencing is to take the steps necessary to improve your job search. The good news is there are some extremely basic things you can do to refresh your job search and start 2021 off on the right foot with a new position.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do that will make this the first resolution that will actually be successful for you.

  • Refresh Your Documents: If you have fallen into the habit of omitting a Cover Letter, then resolve to immediately stop this behavior. Take your current Offer Letter and enhance it so that you can easily customize for maximize impact. Review your Resume and make sure it properly sells why you would be successful. Dump the “old school” Objective Statement, and substitute in a summary of your qualifications. When you review your Resume, please make sure it highlights your success and not just your day-to-day tasks. Finally, be sure to do a complete scrubbing for any spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Practice Your Phone, Video & In-Person Interviewing: In today’s COVID-19 world, you have to be ready for a number of different interviewing methods. Each one requires a slightly different approach and style to the discussion. Review the articles on each, in the WNYJOBS.com archives and practice. It generally is best to pull a friend or family member into this exercise to provide yourself another point-of-view.
  • Become Technological Savvy: You don’t have to be at the level of an Information Technology professional, but you do need to be comfortable speaking on the phone or to the web camera on your laptop. Assume you will eventually speak via video and download Zoom, Teams, and Skype, so that you will be ready to go once an appointment with a Hiring Manager is made using one of these methods.
  • Be Active: The holidays are over and so are most of the excuses regarding why you can’t really buckle down and focus on your job search. Devote time, each day, for your Job Search and give it the commitment necessary. It is especially important for those who are unemployed to try to keep a core schedule of activities to provide some routine and normalcy to your day.
  • Update Your Social Media: Social media has become a critical aspect of most job search campaigns.  The start of a new year is a good time to review your social media presence to make sure it conveys the message that you desire. Like your Resume, make sure that your Profile is not just a listing of where you have worked. Don’t forget everything (including the photo) should be professional and be free of anything remotely controversial.
  • Do Any Necessary Follow-Ups: You may have had a number of leads you were pursuing prior to the holiday season. If you were like many Job Seekers, then you probably placed much of this work “on hold” because various Recruiters and Hiring Managers were on vacation. “Dust off” these files and make the necessary phone calls and e-mails, in order to restart your candidacy for these open positions.
  • Network for 2021: Reach out to your most knowledgeable resources (whether people, websites, etc.) to uncover whether the new year will bring any change. This could range from a company poised for growth this year, to (unfortunately) who is responding best/worse to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can then refocus your Job Search efforts dependent on what you learn.

Improving your job search resides with you, so make the changes necessary to improve your candidacy. Most of the items listed require limited effort and can make a significant improvement in your job search. It is in your hands to make 2021 a better year than its predecessor.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein

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