Looking for a new job in the coming months after you receive that huge bonus from your employers? Research suggests that it takes approximately one month per $10,000 of income to look for a suitable new job. However, if you are feeling miserable in your current role and desperate to look for new opportunities, you may want to accelerate that process.
Luckily, there are easy ways to fast track your own job search without spending too much of your own resources, provided you carefully plan and prepare to launch your search with all your bullets before you begin your job hunt.
Therefore, between shopping for gifts and attending parties during the holidays, make some time to prepare for your January job hunt with these 7 important steps.
1. Spend Quality Time with Your Network and Spread the Word
The holidays are busy times. It is likely that you will be spending a significant amount of time catching up with family, relatives, friends, and maybe even colleagues. By all means, go ahead! But if you would like to kill two birds with one stone and make the best of your social activities, take advantage of the mingling opportunities to refresh and refine your interviewing and networking skills.
Additionally, don’t be hesitate to tell people that you’re open to exploring new career opportunities. You will never know who your contacts are connected to – —and if you give a good elevator pitch, it may spark an introduction you didn’t expect.
2. Make Your List and Check It Twice
From MNCs and GLCs to SMEs and early-stage startups, there is an abundance of career opportunities out there for graduates and young professionals today. That is why one can easily be confused about where to begin your job search without a proper strategy in place. Hence, it can be useful the last few days or weeks of the year to find and research about companies that will genuinely interest you based on your personality, passions, and skills. Whether you are drawn to tech startups with a laid-back culture or a more structured corporate role at a company that focuses on professional development, there is no one right answer that fits everyone’s career.
Whatever your preference may be, you should start by drawing up a list of employers and job functions that strike your interest to ensure you do not stray away too much from your game plan once you begin your job hunting.
3. Personalize Your Resume and Refine Your Cover Letters
Employers today – especially the prestigious ones – can receive anywhere between hundreds to even thousands of resumes per month. And with free CV templates widely available on the Internet today, it is not surprising that the vast majority of the resumes sent to employers today are generic and are not written to bring out the personality of the candidate.
As such, take some time during the holidays to personalize your resume to that job you want and make sure you weave in your passion, personality, and experience so you can differentiate yourself in a positive way from the pack. Make sure you include all of your biggest accomplishments and clearly articulate them in quantifiable terms (How much money did you raise in that campaign? How many employees did you supervise?).
4. Revamp Your Social Media Profiles and Build Your Brand
In the age of the social media, we can assure you that 9 out of 10 of the employers that you apply to will be checking out your social media profiles (especially LinkedIn and Facebook) during the assessment stages, especially if your resume makes it pass the preliminary round of review.
This is why it is crucially important to double and triple check any information about you that has been made publicly available on these channels. Make sure you are presenting the best and most polished version of yourself—and also the most coherent narrative across the multiple platforms. Remember, in the context of a job search, it is useful to think of yourself as a salesperson selling yourself as the product. Put yourself in the best possible light for best results.
5. Hone Your Interview Skills
Everyone knows that after your resume has been vetted and approved by the recruitment team, the next step of the process will be the interview. As such, if you want to raise your chances of securing the job, it is only logical to also spend some time to refine your interview skills – especially if this is your first job or if you have not applied for a new job in a long time. Be proactive – do your homework, speak with friends in your target industry, and research about the companies.
Prepare to answer questions that are most likely to come up. Remember to also prepare a few good ones of your own—you will definitely be asked whether you have questions.
6. Compile and Prep Your References
You can start by reviewing what resources are available to you – in particular, collecting reference letters from previous managers, supervisors, or lecturers. When approaching a referee after not working with them for a long time, it may be useful to proactively prepare a list of objectives and key takeaways that you previously achieved during your projects or assignments with them. Make sure you also work with them to ensure the reference letters are concise, impactful and relevant to your current job search.
7. Set Strategic Resolutions and Develop Your Game Plan
It seems natural for many of us to plan and make resolutions at the start of the year, but let’s face it – writing down “get a new job” is not always the most helpful goal.
Instead, what you should do is to break down your large goals into smaller, actionable benchmark goals to have an easier time to accomplish and track along the way. You can follow the SMART goals guideline when setting goals, objectives, and in this case, resolutions. Some good examples are like “apply for 3 new roles per week” or “attend 5 networking events and meeting 5 new people per month”.