If your plans for 2019 include a new job, now is a perfect time to prepare a new, carefully-planned job search strategy. While it is true that there are many job seekers out on the hunt for a new job, most of them do not conduct their job search in the best way possible, so your challenge for the new year is to conduct the best possible job search. We put together some useful advice to help improve your search and make sure you get noticed by employers.
Job Search Resolutions:
RESOLUTION #1: I will update my resume.
A resume that appears outdated or incompatible with today’s technology may give an employer the impression that you might not be ready for a new job. New Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) demand that resumes are formatted to be processed and selected by a computer before ever being read by a hiring professional. A poorly formatted resume might never be picked no matter how qualified you may be.
To help you write the best resume possible, I surveyed the highly experienced employment staff at JVS Toronto, and put together a list of the ultimate tips for writing an excellent resume. It includes tips for layout and format, such as style, bullet points, spelling and punctuation, font, margins and alignment, as well as resume content, language, and grammar.
For those who are struggling with gaps in their employment history, we also put together these tips on overcoming resume gaps.
RESOLUTION #2: I will improve my online presence
As a job seeker, it is important to ensure that you are easily found online, where potential employers are most likely to look for you. More importantly, employers have to like what they learn about you. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and updated. Updating your skills on LinkedIn will attract the right employers. In addition to LinkedIn, consider using Twitter to gather information, networking and tips.
RESOLUTION #3: I will enhance my skills
In today’s tech-savvy world, the pressure to have up-to-date skills grows. Even if you think your skills are up to par, in 2019 your skills and experience will appear a year old (at least on your resume). Consider it a challenge to engage in an activity which will enable you to add “2019” to your resume.
It might be a course (such as updating your computer skills or CPR certification). Courses can be found at your local community centre, community college (look for the continuing education courses, for part-time options). Another possibility is to volunteer in a meaningful role. If you live in Toronto, there are many opportunities to volunteer; Canada-wide, you will find your local volunteer centre here.
Make sure to add your newly acquired skills and experience your resume and LinkedIn profile.
RESOLUTION #4: I will grow my network
This goes back to that old truth about finding work — it’s not only about what you know, but who you know. You already have a network – put the people you know to work for you and leverage your network to get job referrals. It’s a great time to reconnect with old contacts and make new ones. LinkedIn might be the best way to start the process — see who you know, and figure out who you would like to get to know by asking for an information interview.
Go out and meet with people face-to-face; ask questions, get support and guidance and make sure they know that you are looking for a new opportunity.
RESOLUTION #5: I will find new sources of job information
Many job search sites allow users to set up job alerts, which will send them emails with jobs that match their specific criteria. We have a detailed list of job boards, where you can search by keyword and location, and save an Email Alert or RSS Feed.
In 2018, Google set up a job alert system, which probably offers the broadest coverage of online job opportunities.
2019 could be the year that you secure that job you always wanted. Follow through on these 5 resolutions and watch it happen.