Job Hunting in 2015: Starting strong

Time for a change? If you are looking for something new, or a fresh beginning, start your job hunt strong in 2015 with these simple steps.

Start with a clean slate.

Literally. Before you dive into resume editing and job applications, take time to clean your workspace. Organize papers, clear off your desk and put all those miscellaneous items away. A clean environment can help refresh your brain and make you feel ready for a new start.

Don’t stop there, clean up your digital workspace as well. Is your computer a maze of folders, shortcuts and files? How about all those items in your downloads folder you haven’t ‘put away’ yet? Manage your email folders and aim for Inbox Zero. Cleaning up your digital workspace feels just as satisfying as cleaning your physical one.

Reflect on the past year: where were your successes and failures?

As an employee, list the actions you received praise for and the areas you needed to improve. Did you make any huge mistakes? What were your biggest accomplishments?

As a job seeker, list the companies you interviewed with, what went well, and what could you have done better? How often did you interview, compared to how many applications you filled in?

Learn from your experiences

Now that you’ve identified the areas you are good at, take another look at your resume and make sure every sentence is focused on these accomplishments. Can you add more? Can you cut out some of the weaker points?

Think about the areas you need improvement. In interviews, explaining how you overcame work challenges and reacted to mistakes is important. Write down some examples of failures and what you’ve learned from the experience.

In your job search, did your resume land you many interviews? Consider that you may need a stronger resume to get your foot in the door. Consult an expert or ask a mentor. If you interviewed several times, why didn’t you get the job? Again, consult an expert, and do practice interviews. Every application and every interview is important: you must always look your best.

Create a game plan

game-planYou’ve likely made a few goals for 2015 in the hope of being a better you. Whether it’s to lose weight, get in shape, find a new job, spend more time with family, or floss your teeth, goals take time. It’s possible to accomplish everything with a game plan that maximizes your productivity.

In work and in life, you have to manage your time by prioritizing and scheduling. Start with a list of your priorities, ranking them by importance. Would you be willing to drop everything to spend time with your kids? Is flossing more important than going to the gym?

Since you’re reading this, we’ll assume that finding a job is pretty high on your list. Schedule time EVERY DAY towards your job search. Whether this is an hour of networking on LinkedIn or two hours of actively searching and applying for jobs, make job searching a part of your daily life until you’ve reached your goal of a new job.

Best of luck in 2015!