Here are 7 New Year Resolutions To Start Your 2017 Job Search Off Right:
1. Clean up your social networks.A study of HR departments showed that nearly 80% of all recruiters will check to see what an applicant looks like online before an interview. They will likely search your name on Google and the most popular social networks to see what they can find. It’s important you know what you have out there so you are prepared for questions about what they may find. Check your privacy settings and lock down personal profiles that aren’t appropriate for work.
2. Use LinkedIn for more opportunities to be referred.People do business with who they know, like, and trust and having a robust LinkedIn network only makes your job search easier. Think about who you know that works in similar industries as you and see what companies they are connected to. Remove connections who don’t fit into the “know, like, trust” category as they aren’t going to help you.
3. Figure out what jobs are the best fit for you.If you don’t know what you want to do, you’ll likely take the next best offer and end up unhappy down the road. While you are out making connections on LinkedIn, keep in mind what you enjoy doing most and see if you know anyone in that industry who may be able to help. The clearer you are, the clearer others are about where to refer you.
4. Develop a target list of employers.Don’t search for jobs in reactive mode, only looking at what’s available. It’s important for you to be proactive about who you really want to work for so you can start looking for ways to get in the door. Make sure you are following the companies you find most desirable on LinkedIn and take note of who works there that your connections may also know.
5. Focus your efforts on networking, not applying for jobs online.Sending out mass quantities of resumes in response to job postings does not work. It may feel productive but it rarely captures the attention of hiring managers. Use your network to seek out those who are in the best position to introduce you and actively look for events where people from your target list of employers may be.
6. Help others with their job search.Just because you’re looking for a job doesn’t mean you can’t help others in the same situation. You don't have to give away your best job leads but you can help them connect with someone you know who works at their target employer. As "they" say, "what goes around, comes around," and paying forward to help others really does seem to payoff.
7. Remember your manners.Fewer than 5% of all candidates write a thank you letter after an interview and that small gesture helps you stand out from the crowd. Write a simple but impactful thank you letter…. with a real pen and paper, not typed! Handwrite the address on the envelope. Real people are in charge of hiring other real people so make sure your language isn’t canned or fake sounding. Believe it or not, a follow-up thank you letter has the power to make - or break a job deal. Focus your efforts on being a real human and you’ll find more doors swing open.