The beginning of a new year means a fresh start. If you're thinking about a career change or a new job, January is the best possible time to begin the process. Hiring budgets have just been renewed for the year, and new positions are popping up everywhere. Take advantage of this time of year by making the most of your January job search.
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Before you get started, check out this list of dos and don'ts.
Give It Your All
This is the best time of year to be looking for a new job, so don't waste your shot! Make your job search a priority by setting aside some time every day to focus on it. Spend your time browsing through job boards, updating your resume, and preparing for interviews. Some job seekers find that scheduling time for their job search on their calendar along with meetings and appointments helps make it a priority.
Tailor Your Resume
Tailoring your resume is a crucial step in the job search process, and one that will set you apart from other applicants. Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATSs) to sort resumes, and tailoring your resume using keywords from the job posting is the best way to get past an ATS and into a decision-maker's hands.
During all stages of the job search, do your research. When you find a job posting that interests you, research the company (Glassdoor is a good resource) to get an idea of the culture and average salary. When you build your resume, research keywords using the job posting and company site. When preparing for a job interview, become an expert on the open role and the company. You can read the company's recent blog posts and learn about their recent product releases.
Let the Competition Psych You Out
Just as there are a lot of new job seekers this month, there are also a lot of available jobs. Stay confident during your job search by keeping organized and consistent. As long as you are putting in the time and energy that your job search deserves, you have no reason to be intimidated. You can't stop other people from applying for jobs, but you can make sure you're the best candidate you can be.
Apply for Jobs You Don't Love
Yes, there is a lot of competition this time of year, but that doesn't mean you should apply for jobs that don't interest you. If you think it could be a good fit but aren't totally sure, go for it. However, be picky about which jobs you spend your time on.
To clarify your job search, it might help to make a list of your desired roles and tasks in a job before you begin searching. If a position doesn't sound like a good fit to you, the hiring manager won't think you're a good fit for it either.
An influx of new jobs and applicants means it could take hiring managers longer than usual to follow up with candidates. Don't assume you aren't in the running if you don't hear back right away. And don't be afraid to follow up with hiring managers yourself!
One cool feature about many ATSs is that they save resumes. What does that mean for you? If you don't hear back about the job you applied for, you could be contacted later on for an even better job at the same company.
James Hu is the founder and CEO of Jobscan.