For job seekers, it may feel like you can use December to take a break in your job search, but you absolutely should not. It’s almost the end of 2013, so it’s time to make these last few weeks count. One month is plenty of time to set some short term goals and see them through. You may even get to bring in the New Year with a new job.
Here are eight things you can accomplish in your job search before the end of the year:
1. Subscribe to 1-3 industry publications. Look for blogs, magazines, and other publications specific to your industry. For example, PR News and Mashable are popular in the public relations industry. Subscribe to daily or weekly email updates (or something along those lines) from a few of the publications in your industry to keep up with the latest news and trends.
2. Learn one new hard skill. With new technology every day, you will never be finished learning new hard skills. Dedicate the last month of this year to learning one new skill. If you’re still a student, your university can probably provide you with the materials you need. If not, there are lots of tutorials online for learning new skills and software. Look for something that will benefit your job search and get started.
3. Polish your resume. As the year winds down, take some time to reflect on the things you’ve accomplished this year. New jobs and internships, surpassing goals for projects you worked on, and leading teams are all great experiences to add to your resume. You never know when you’ll meet someone who wants to help you land a job. It’s important to make sure your resume is always up to date.
4. Attend one mock interview. If you have the means, it’s a good idea to set up a pretend job interview. These won’t have specific industry-related questions, but they’re great for practicing your answers to the most common job interview questions. Your interviewer will be able to point out your strengths and weaknesses, so you can improve before the real thing.
5. Apply to five new jobs each week. Use a job board or social media to find five new positions to apply to each week until the end of the year. Personalize your resume and cover letter for each position, using keywords from the job descriptions. By applying to so many jobs, you will have more and more chances to land interviews.
6. Update social media profiles. Once you update your resume, you should also update your bio and photo on your social media profiles. Keeping your profiles updated is important for your personal brand and expanding your professional network. Who knows? A potential employer might happen across your LinkedIn and be interested to learn more.
7. Follow 10 pros on Twitter. With your updated profile, you should look for at least 10 new professionals in your industry to follow. Look for industry experts who tend to share a lot of knowledge of the latest trends. You can also look for professionals who work in your ideal company or city. It’s important to follow these kinds of people so you can follow their examples.
8. Make five new connections. In addition to simply following professionals, you should reach out to them directly on LinkedIn. Introduce yourself and ask them about their jobs. Do not ask for a job just yet, but try to form a relationship. LinkedIn is a great way to build your network and get to know other professionals.
All of these ideas are goals you can accomplish in the short amount of time left in the year. There is only one month to go in 2013, so make the most of it. Pick up a skill, touch up your resume, and make a few friends. They may seem like small goals, but they all make a difference.