New Year's Resolutions winning candidates make (and keep)

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Whether you’ve been looking to switch roles for a while, or are planning to make the move soon, use that ‘new year, new you’ feeling to make some positive job-hunting resolutions in January.

These are the type of actions that are part of successful candidates’ toolkits, so why not try them too? You could have your most successful new year yet…

New Year’s resolution: I’ll focus on what I want

Blowing the cobwebs away on January 1st can be a chance for a deep think about the type of role and company that will make you happy this year. And when we say think, we mean really, really think.

When new jobs first appear online there’s often a frenzy to get applications in as quickly as possible. But in the rush do you lose focus on what your ideal next move really should be?

Take time to decide your non-negotiables: whether that’s a particular salary range, list of responsibilities, more flexibility, workplace location… whatever means the most to you. Perhaps some items on your wish list have changed since you started job hunting?

What’s most important is to let those things drive your job hunt, rather than compromising in the rush to click ‘apply’ on the website.

New Year’s resolution: I will ask for fresh eyes on my CV

If you’ve applied for roles you think you’re right for but haven’t managed to get through to the next stage, could your CV be to blame?

This January, make the decision to not only revisit your CV but also crucially accept that it could do with some fresh eyes and a second opinion.

You’ll get the best results if you ask someone who works in the same industry as you (and obviously someone who you can trust to be discreet if you’re not open about your job hunting plans). And while you’re choosing who to ask, read up on how to bring your skills and experience to life on your CV, here.

New Year’s resolution: I’ll focus on real contacts

It’s something you’ll hear time and time again, but as we tell job candidates we meet at HR GO  a broad network of relevant contacts can really help you if you’re job hunting - especially as they can let you know about any upcoming roles that aren’t widely advertised.

LinkedIn connections can be hugely helpful (see below), but the real value comes from following up with that person and nurturing the relationship so they become a strong contact - and even better if this is face to face.

If you cringe at the thought of networking events, take heart: the good news is that if you first met someone online you’re halfway there - and saying hello in person will be a lot easier.

New Year’s resolution: I’ll go beyond my LinkedIn profile

With any luck, your LinkedIn profile will already working hard for you (and if it’s not, check out how you find out how to improve it here.) It’s crucial to have a complete profile, otherwise you won’t be as visible on search results.

There’s lots more you can do to put yourself forward as an ideal candidate, so perhaps make new year the time to start squeezing the most out of the site?

Take these actions if you’re not already:

  • Publish relevant status updates
  • Follow companies on your wishlist
  • Ask to be introduced to useful contacts
  • Seek out recommendations
  • Join industry groups, then interact in conversations

We’ve written about how to make LinkedIn an even more powerful tool here.

New Year’s resolution: I’ll create a timeline for the year

Tracking your goals for the year can help you move beyond good intentions of January and into solid action during the rest of the year.

So decide on smaller goals you want to achieve by specific weeks or months, whether that’s attending three in-person networking events by May or ticking off a certain number of meaningful contributions you make in LinkedIn groups every week.

If you learn to hold yourself accountable you’ll be more likely to stay on track and see some really positive results during the year - including finding a new job you really want.

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