1. Update your material
It’s the new year, and it’s time for an update – go through your job search material and refresh it. Update your resume with new experience, skills, or information; update your cover letter format to reflect any changes or to include new examples of your accomplishments and goals.
Take your updates online: update your portfolio or website (if you have one) with new projects or new material. Update your blog (again, if you have one) with new material. Update the biographical information on your social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, especially.
2. Analyze your status
Take a good, hard look at where you’re at in your job search. Have you met your prior goals or objectives? What’s been successful and what hasn’t? Now, turn and look at yourself — have you gained any new skills or experiences? What do you bring to the table for an employer? Is there anything that might be a red flag to a prospective employer? Taking inventory of the current state of your job search and your “employability” will help you figure out what you need to do to get where you want to go.
3. Set new goals
Speaking of getting where you want to go, a new year means new goals! Besides all of the administrative updates to your application materials and online presence, be sure to update your job search goals and objectives for the year.
Take the information you gained from analyzing your job search status and apply it to your new goals — set goals for what you need to work on, what you want to accomplish, and where you want to be in 2012. Make sure to make your goals realistic. Specific, attainable goals will help keep you motivated during the year.
4. Revamp your plan
You have updated material, a grasp on the status of your job search, and new goals; take these three things and revamp your job search strategy. Every job search needs a plan; this plan isn’t limited to where you want to be or what you want to do (i.e., goals), but also includes specific tactics for how to accomplish your goals and a timeline to keep you on track. Update your current plan or start from scratch — either way, it’s important to have a solid sense of direction for your job search, and a good idea of how to get where you’re going.
5. Meet new contacts and keep the old
Ex-Girl Scouts may remember the familiar anthem: “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other’s gold.” This applied in your Scout years and now it applies in your job search. Networking is essential at every stage of your job search; to kick-start your 2012 job search, attend networking events, engage on social networks, and reach out to relevant people to build your network and add new contacts.
As important as it is to add new contacts to your network, it’s also important to support the network you already have. Remember, networking is about creating a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship — continue to engage with and help out people in your existing network while building it larger.
6. Try something new
It’s a new year and time for some new approaches to your job search. Think hard: what are some things you haven’t done yet for your job search? Maybe you have yet to build a portfolio, start a blog, set up informational interviews, or jump on the Twitter bandwagon. Pick one or two (or three or four…) tactics you haven’t yet tried in your job search, and make a resolution to try them in 2012.
Job seekers, how are you jumpstarting your 2012 job search? Let us know below.