December 30, 2008

Top 9 New Year’s Resolutions for Job Hunters in 2009

Happy New Year!  With 2009 right around the corner (29 hours and counting), it’s high time to give some thought to your New Year’s resolutions. 

If you are looking for a job, no doubt finding gainful employment is right up there on your list.  But are you doing everything you can to maximize your job search?  Here are nine resolutions to get your started:

1. Become a perpetual student.
Never stop learning — whether that means going back to school to finish your degree, enrolling in a Master’s program, taking a few distance learning classes, or just being an avid reader of trade journals and publications. For some of you, continuing ed may be a required part of the job.  For all of you, education equals higher salaries — sometimes as much as 40 percent higher or more.

2. Network outside the box.
You know all those holiday cards your family receives?  Flip through them with an eye toward networking.  Have you talked to each and every one of them about your job search?  If not, get in touch, thank them for their holiday wishes and suggest getting together for coffee.

3. Get online to be in line.
For the next great job offer, that is.  Are you on Linked In?  Facebook? Industry mailing lists?  Join every possible online resource you can think of — and then network from those to other ones. Online networking is the wave of the future.

4. Reach out to at least five new people a week.
From now until you start your new job, resolve to network with at least five new people every week. When you grow weary of all the schmoozing, remind yourself that as many as 80 percent of all jobs are never advertised.  The only way to get these jobs is through networking.

5. Review your resume with a fresh set of eyes.
Send your resume off to your three closest and most trusted friends.  Ask them to review it with razor precision.  Your goal is a letter-perfect resume that truly stands out from the crowd.  That means using examples, writing with action verbs and crafting a well-written resume objective statement.

6. Send thank you cards.
Become a veritable Emily Post of the job interview thank you card. Send thank you notes to every person you interview with — emailed letters are perfectly acceptable, although handwritten notes make a bigger impact. 

Also jot notes of appreciation to everyone who has helped you with your job search.  If they haven’t heard from you in a while, your thoughtful note may just jog their memory about a job that is perfect for you.

7. Volunteer your time and talents.
By volunteering, you give yourself the opportunity to truly appreciate the bounty in your life.  Even if you are unemployed, underemployed or just unhappily employed, you have a world of time, talent and expertise to contribute to causes in great need. Plus, volunteering is a great way to expand your contacts and learn about new career fields.

8. Stay positive.
Nothing turns off a potential employer like negativity and desperation.  No doubt looking for a job can be a long and at times demoralizing process. But your attitude can make all the difference between a job offer and a job rejection. That’s why you need to do what you have to in order to stay positive during your job search.

9. Become a master interviewer.
Nine out of ten Americans say they are afraid of public speaking — and nothing is more intimidating than speaking up at a job interview.  But if you let your insecurities get the better of you, you will never get the job.  Conquer your fear and gain a career!  Here’s a good place to start — JobMonkey’s page on Interviewing Types and Tips.

So, those are my suggestions.  What is on your list of resolutions for ’09?

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