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January 09, 2017

5 Essential New Year's Resolutions for Job Seekers

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New Year's Resolutions for Job Seekers

Nicole Cavazos, Copywriter for ZipRecruiter

It may seem like a cliche to make a list of resolutions for the coming year. But the New Year is actually the perfect time to commit to actions that will positively affect your career. Over the holidays, you've probably had some time to reflect on the previous year and are eager to shed bad habits and start over. But just like resolving to lose weight or pay off your debt, saying you're going to do it is the easy part.

So if you're really serious about finding your dream job in 2017, here are some great resolutions to keep.

I Will Take My Dreams Seriously
Ok, this one comes with some conditions. For instance, I wouldn't advise my 65-year-old uncle to go back to medical school and pursue his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon (unless, maybe he was independently wealthy and had exceptionally good vision and steady hands). It has to be realistic for your family, your budget and, in some cases, your age.

It's possible that your career path is something you've fallen into accidentally, while trying to figure out what you really want to do, or while trying to figure out how to do what you really want to do. Maybe the career you chose was influenced by your family's wishes or what you thought would be prudent to pursue rather than what you'd actually enjoy doing.

Ask yourself if you're really satisfied with your career path. If not, this might be why you're not finding a job. Pursuing what you're good at makes the job search a little easier and your interviews more effortless.

I Will Make a Plan
After you've zeroed in on your goal, now's the time to make a plan. Just as you wouldn't bake a cake without taking the necessary steps, you shouldn't forge ahead in your career goals without a recipe for success. This starts with updating your resume, cover letters and samples, building your online presence and expanding your network. Make a list of companies to target in your search and perfect your elevator pitch so that it sounds both convincing and natural. Set realistic daily job-search goals

I Will Take My LinkedIn Profile Seriously
If you've been taking your LinkedIn profile for granted, you're really missing out on a powerful resource. In fact, an incomplete or slapdash profile can actually hurt your chances of landing a job.

A recent Jobvite survey indicates that 73% of recruiters have hired a candidate through social media. And 93% of recruiters review a candidate's social profile before making a decision. And the social network of choice for most recruiters is LinkedIn.

Additionally, having an incomplete profile adversely affects your visibility in LinkedIn's search results. Luckily, LinkedIn lets you know your profile's level of completeness so don't stop until you reach 100%! Post regularly and join LinkedIn groups to boost your ranking.

I Will Become a Networking Maniac
60% of employers' best candidates are found through referrals. This means that if you're not making an effort to put yourself out there, make new connections and continuously cultivate existing connections, then you're significantly diminishing your chances of finding a great job.

Networking is about relationships. And as with all relationships, it's something you need to work at every day for it to be rewarding. Use social media, as well as other good old-fashioned tools like the telephone, to stay in touch with friends and colleagues. Take advantage of industry events and other networking opportunities to meet new people in your field. And use LinkedIn to reach out to other professionals and to connect with new ones.

I Will Remain Positive
Yes, it's hard not to become jaded or discouraged the longer it takes to find a job. But succumbing to negativity only makes things worse. Not only does it sap your enthusiasm and energy, it makes you a less appealing job candidate. Resolve to schedule activities that you enjoy or excel at on a daily basis and maintain a strong support system of friends and family to keep you focused and grounded. Reward yourself regularly for small victories. And most importantly, take a daily inventory of the people and things in your life that you're most thankful for. Starting from a place of gratitude rather than resentment always leads to better things.

Nicole Cavazos is an accomplished writer for ZipRecruiter with more than a decade of experience developing broadcast, print and interactive marketing communications. She is known for creating original concepts and crafting compelling copy that captures the unique identity of each client. Additionally, she has extensive experience as an editor, overseeing the production of catalogs, newsletters and magazines.

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