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10 Tips for a Job Search in the New Year

Ask The Expert

By Barbara Mitchell

Q: I really want to find a new job next year. I'd like to start looking right after the holidays. Can you help me put together a strategy for landing a great job in 2019?

A: Starting the new year off with a job search is a great idea. There's something about a fresh new year that makes it a good time to think about your future. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Take an inventory of your skills, strengths, and interests to see what kind of position you want. Don't assume that since you've worked in a particular job for a few years that you want the same role in your next organization. This is the time to reflect on what your "dream job" might be and then find ways to make it happen.

  2. Decide what kind of organizations you want to target. Do you want to stay in the association world, or is it time to consider something else? Make a list of 50 places you'd like to work.

  3. Review your resume and update it as needed. Show accomplishments as opposed to job responsibilities to give a prospective employer a sense of what you might do for them.

  4. Update your LinkedIn profile. Your online profile is probably more important than your print resume in today's job market since it's become fairly common for recruiters to find talent through online search. Be sure your profile reflects your accomplishments, and don't overlook any volunteer experience. Ask valued colleagues to post endorsements for you on LinkedIn. And include a recent professional headshot.

  5. This is the time to reflect on what your "dream job" might be and then find ways to make it happen.


  6. Use LinkedIn to create a referral network. Connect with as many people as possible on LinkedIn to increase your professional network.

  7. Consider getting business cards with your personal information listed. Be sure to give people multiple ways to contact you by including your cellphone number and your personal email address.

  8. Decide what networking events you will attend. Look for events in your field or the field you'd like to work in, and sign up for meetings and other events to meet people who might lead you to a job opening.

  9. Set up a tracking system to monitor possible leads. Use whatever system works for you—it can be an Excel spreadsheet or a paper-and-pencil log. You just want to have a way to track your leads so you can follow up in a timely manner.

  10. Monitor job boards and career sites. Keep a close eye on postings from organizations you're targeting so that you're ready to apply when a job opens. You can set up an account right here at Association CareerHQ to save jobs you’re interested in and set up alerts to be notified when a new posting matches your search criteria

  11. Prepare your examples and stories to showcase your skills before you go on interviews. Practice with a trusted friend, relative, or mentor so you're comfortable telling your story and describing your skills and experience to potential employers.

Best wishes as you plan a path to your next position in the new year!

Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR and The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. Do you have a question you'd like her to answer in "Ask the Expert"? Send it to [email protected]

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