Are you ready to take advantage of New Year’s energy to find rewarding employment? Read the tips below to get a jump-start on the competition and find meaningful work.

Look inside first. You don’t want just any job, do you? You probably want to find employment that is aligned with your interests, values, strengths and long-term career plan. To do this successfully, you’ll have to find some quiet time and ask yourself some deep questions:

  • What’s most important to me about my career?
  • Where do I want to be in the next one, three and five years?
  • What gets me excited and what am I most passionate about?

After answering these questions, the next step is to talk to your closest colleagues, old managers, peers and mentors and map out your plan. Give these people the opportunity to help you – remember, we can’t get there alone.

Make technology your friend. Many of my seminar attendees raise their hands when I ask if they have LinkedIn accounts, but not many of them are using the tool on a regular basis. LinkedIn allows you to research, prospect, promote and connect.

  • Research: Advanced searches on LinkedIn allow you to learn about different companies in your industry. You can also learn about other candidates in the marketplace, so you can prepare to face your competition.
  • Prospect: Instead of blindly sending in your resume to an opening, consider digging up the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s name from LinkedIn and reach out directly to learn more about the opportunity. This will allow you to further tailor your application and avoid chasing opportunities that have already closed.
  • Promote: LinkedIn’s groups are a great place to find out about conversations that are taking place in your industry. If members are asking challenging questions that you can answer, this is your time to shine. Recruiters have told me that they prospect for top talent by looking at discussions. Status and profile updates are other ways of promoting yourself. Every time you make an update, LinkedIn shows your changes to your network.
  • Connect: With more than 85 million professionals, chances are there are plenty of people with whom you can connect. As I’ve discussed repeatedly, employee referrals and personal connections are the fastest way to get hired in Seattle.

Fine-tune your personal brand. Ask trusted advisors to take a hard look at your online profiles, resume and cover letters and make sure that your messaging is consistent and is the best representation of who you are and how you want to be perceived. If your financial situation or short-term career goal strategies require you to take an interim step, make sure your brand reflects the short-term and not the long-term strategies (i.e. if you are willing to take a contract communications manager job while you search for a director of marketing position, make sure your brand reflects your communication manager experience).

Consider a career transformation. Is it time you gave your career a facelift? If you’ve been thinking about it for more than one year, it’s time for you to take some steps. Learning a new skill, taking a class, public speaking, writing a book, starting a blog or reaching out to higher-level folks you’ve been too intimidated to contact are great places to start.

Be positive. Last but not least, relax, take a deep breath and start your new year with positive energy and a great attitude. Believe there is bright sunshine waiting for you at the end of the career tunnel.

Live Seminars in December

The Career Search Excellence seminar is packed with only the hottest tips and tricks for professionals seeking a new opportunity – giving you a competitive edge over the competition. The seminar is free (sponsored) and there are three dates to choose from in December.
  • December 5 (Bellevue, WA)
  • December 8 (Bellevue, WA)
  • December 10 (Bellevue, WA)
Register Now (It's free.)
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One Response to Jump start your career search in 2011

  1. […] Identify what types of companies you want to work for and what sort of position you are looking for. Look through job sites, Zhaopin, 51job, Chinahr, LinkedIn and the companies’ websites for job openings. Read the advertisements carefully and make sure that you meet at least 75% of the job requirements before applying. […]