How to Land a New Job in the New Year

The new year is upon us, which means it’s time for all those “New Year, New Me” posts on social media. Instead of making a resolution to lose weight or be a better friend — both admirable goals in and of themselves — why not resolve to land your dream job in 2019? Here are six tips to help you land a new job in the new year.

1. Make a List

Job hunting is exhausting. You have to sort through hundreds and hundreds of job listings online and in local listings, and it can seem like an impossible task to find the best position for you as you start a new year. Begin your search by making a list.

Figure out the exact companies or types of companies you’re interested in working for. This will narrow down your search considerably and make it easier to find your dream position. Remember to consider and include a few of your “must-haves” in a job, such as a flexible schedule or competitive medical benefits.

2. Update Your Resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? If it’s been a while, take some time to add in any new jobs, accomplishments or projects. While you’re at it, purge anything that isn’t relevant anymore — especially if you’re planning on changing fields.

For example, your time spent working at a local restaurant may have been useful to fill some lines on your resume a few years ago, but it isn’t relevant if you’re now applying for a position at a marketing agency.

3. Purge Your Social Media

Social media is a fantastic tool for staying connected with friends and family, but it can also be harmful to your career if you post things you wouldn’t want your current boss or any future bosses to see. Go through your old social media posts and remove anything that would cause them to raise an eyebrow or remove you from the list of potential candidates. If there are any memories that you can’t bear to part with, update your privacy settings or download those photos to your personal phone or computer, keeping your most cringe-worthy moments between friends and family.

4. Have Your References Ready

This is a two-part step. First, make sure you have your references ready if you need to list them on an application or upon request of the hiring manager. Talk to anyone who you’re going to list as a reference to give them a heads up that they might be receiving a phone call — and to remind them of all the excellent work you did together in the past!

Second, don’t burn your bridges. Even if you’re leaving your current position because you can’t stand to work there for a moment longer, your manager can still provide a useful reference, so it’s essential to leave on good terms with your team. When they ask why you’re leaving, try to reframe your explanation, so they don’t insult the company or any of its employees. Don’t lie, but mention the personal reasons you’re choosing to leave instead of any complaints you have about the business or position itself.

5. Network, Network, Network

They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know — and that is vital to remember when you’re looking for a new career. Take the time to network. Go to trade shows, hang out with coworkers and establish professional relationships that will serve you well as you move into your new career. These people can provide references, let you know about openings or opportunities, and help you build your new career into something you’ll love for years to come.

6. Resolve to Find Something New

Now that you’ve completed the previous five steps, the last thing you need to do is set your New Year’s Resolution and resolve to find something new for the new year. Feel free to break it into smaller parts to make this colossal goal more obtainable. Setting your goal and making your resolution is the foundation for any change you want to make in the coming year.

New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be all about losing weight or finding the love of your life. The new year is the perfect time to find a new career, too, and you’ve got just enough time left in 2018 to prepare. For more information about finding your dream job in 2019, or if you have any other useful tips we missed, comment below or subscribe to our newsletter!


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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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