Strategies to Kickstart Your Job Search in 2016

The new year is the perfect time to jump-start your job search.

A new year means it’s time to try out some new strategies for kickstarting your job search. Whether you already have a job but are unhappy in your position, you’ve been unemployed and are searching for a way to pay the bills, or you are fresh out of school and are ready to begin your professional career, these tips can help you to get your foot in the door and start out the new year with interviews and job offers.

Network, network, network.

The best advice to remember during your job search is that human beings hire human beings. You may already have a stellar resume and outstanding references—but having that human connection can put you one step further than the rest of the crowd. Create and take advantage of opportunities to meet as many people as possible, both within your career field and outside of it. The best way to start this, if you are new to networking, is to attend industry conferences, join professional associations, etc. Then it’s time to start striking up conversations with anyone who will listen. Hopefully, over time, you will build up a least a few helpful contacts within the industry that will be able to give you an edge on your applications.

Start getting strategic.

When you’re looking for a job, the simple search for an open position alone can get overwhelming. The best way to tackle this is to set up a step-by-step plan that you can take one day at a time. Create a plan of action to land a position. This plan should consist of your main goals, which will be landing a position. You should set up ways to search within your own field or industry, so you’re time on job boards is targeted and well spent. As mentioned before, utilize you network. You may have to call in some favors and pull strings, but that is what networking is for.

Get your resume back up to speed.

Even if you’ve recently updated your resume, this is something you should be doing constantly. Employers don’t want to see that you’ve been slacking during the job search. If you are currently unemployed, set up volunteering opportunities that you can talk about during an interview. If you are employed but looking for a new position, work hard on that current project so that your efforts and contributions can be noticed. If you are in a creative field, keep your portfolio up-to-date with new examples added even during unemployment.

Work on your social media.

When you think about looking for a job, social media might not instantly come to mind. However, it can actually play a large role in you landing a job. Update all of your social media accounts—add relevant information, make sure they are work-friendly, add recent achievements. Interviewers do look at these accounts. One social media account you should particularly pay attention to is LinkedIn. This is often the first place hiring managers look. Always keep an updated resume and portfolio online. If you have new contributions from your current position, make sure they are available to see.

Take a break.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is really true that you can wear yourself out from the job search. If this happens, you are not working at full-capacity when it comes to finding a job. If you can afford to, take a much needed week off from the search. Sometimes, it takes a small break for you to be able to see clearly with fresh eyes. You will also be amazed at your increase in mood and outlook towards the job search.