The start of a new decade is just around the corner. Are you ready for a fresh start in a new role? Your holiday break is the PERFECT time to start focusing on your career growth and change. Here are a few steps on what you can do to effectively use your time and set yourself up for success for your job search in the new year.

Define what you are looking for in your next role

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Why do you want a new role? 
  2. What is it about your current role that’s not working? 
  3. Can you fix what’s not working by going somewhere else?
  4. Is the office environment not a fit for how you work best?
  5. What do you like about your current role? (Can you find that somewhere else?)

Taking the time to reflect and answer these questions will help you more easily find a position that fits you better. It will also help you when you are sitting in an interview. You’ll be able to better understand what a red flag is for you and if the role really is what you are looking for (or not!)

Start searching for that perfect role!

Once you have defined what you are looking for and have a good outline for your search, it’s time to start looking. Search for potential roles that fit your description and find out where those roles are located.

Tips for searching:

  1. Do you have any current connections at the organizations you’d like to work for or potential connections of connections? (If so, reach out and get reacquainted!)
  2. The big job aggregators will, of course, be a good place to start, such as Indeed, LinkedIn, & Monster.
  3. If you are looking for remote work, Flex Jobs is a good site to search.
  4. Don’t forget about niche sites like PPC Hero’s Job Board or a job board from any organization that you are apart of.

The best thing you can do is get an idea for what is out there right now, who is hiring, and if there are similar companies who aren’t hiring, This is your time to figure out which employers are at the top of your list and who you will want to reach out to once you are ready to start your job hunt.

Getting Prepped

Along with getting your LinkedIn profile and your resume up to snuff, you need to get comfortable talking about yourself and your accomplishments. If you’re looking for an activity to do with visiting family or friends, this just might be what you’re looking for ;).

Start with LinkedIn

If you want to be found by a recruiter, LinkedIn is the perfect place to start. Make sure your profile is updated. If you are in a pinch for time and can only update a few areas, I would recommend the following:

  1. Update and add details to the Experience section. Make sure that the recruiter looking at your profile can grasp a picture of what you currently are doing and have done in the past. *Adding accomplishments and real-time numbers to your job duties will boost up this area!
  2. In the About section, highlight what you’re passionate about 
  3. If possible, get recommendations from supervisors, coworkers, or the like. These give an outsider’s point of view on your work and can help build a well-rounded picture of you as an employee.
  4. Skills aren’t as important unless you have a lot of endorsements. One person’s definition of a skill can mean something else.

Resumes and Cover Letters

  1. Fine-tune and think through your resume. Remove things that don’t apply (like past experiences that aren’t relevant to the role). Have some white space, but not a ton. There should be no questions on why experiences and skills were listed on your resume. 
  2. Use your network! Ask those you trust to review both resume and cover letters.
  3. Remember that your resume is what you have done and your cover letter helps illustrate how your previous experience makes you a perfect fit for the role that you are applying to. You will likely need to create and edit a lot of cover letters to fit each role that you are applying to.
  4. There are a ton of resources out there on this topic so take your time and craft the best combination of resume and cover letter that you can. And remember – this is your likely first interaction with any organization, so take the time and effort to make it the best first interaction it can be.

Getting Interview-Ready

It’s time to practice, practice, practice! Interviewing is a skill that is really only built through practice. Some people may be natural interviewers, but most aren’t. Use your friends and acquaintances (or those visiting in-laws!) to practice for your interviews. Widdle down your answers until you have your “perfect answer.” Once you get into full application mode, interviews could come at any time and you may not have as much time to prep again. So your break time is the best time to do it!

Here are some other tips for your interview

  1. Conduct extensive research into specific questions that the role gets asked.
  2. Look into general interview questions too.
  3. If you know who you want to interview with, look at their Glassdoor page. Someone has likely placed questions that they have asked before on that page.

Sidenote! You will not have a prepared answer for every question and you shouldn’t. Make sure you know your previous experience in and out, including your big accomplishments. Apply both towards most of the questions that you are asked.

Feel like you don’t have the right skills to fit where you want to work?

It’s time to define the path to get there! Figure out what you need to have to get where you want to go. There are tons of blogs, webinars, training programs, and more out there. And don’t forget that people are great resources as well. Does someone have the job you want? Ask them for advice on how you can get where they are, interview them, invite them for coffee, pick their brain, or ask them to mentor you. There is so much knowledge to be gained just by talking to people, so make sure you are reaching out and making those connections happen.

Find the right resource, give yourself a timeline to implement your path, and go get your dream job!!