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6 decisions that will land you a job this year

6 decisions that will land you a job this year
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If you’ll be searching for a job in 2015, don’t just apply the same old tired job search advice about expanding your network, improving your social...

If you’ll be searching for a job in 2015, don’t just apply the same old tired job search advice about expanding your network, improving your social media presence and cleaning up your résumé. Those things matter, of course, but they’re hardly revolutionary. Instead, here are six New Year’s resolutions to truly kick off your search from a position of strength:

Go for quality over quantity in your job applications.

You might be tempted to apply to as many jobs as possible, figuring that doing so will increase your odds of being called for an interview. But in practice, this usually means that you’ll end up “résumé-blasting” – sending out tons of applications without customising your résumé and cover letter to the particular openings you’re applying for. Employers can tell when you’re submitting the same generic application you’ve submitted to dozens of other places, and you have a far lower chance of catching their eyes.

Send out fewer applications, and spend time customising each. Write cover letters that are specific to each job you’re applying for, and ensure that your résumé highlights speak directly to the qualifications being sought. If your application package is identical every time you send it out, that’s a sign that you need to be more targeted in your approach.

Reach out to past managers and co-workers who loved your work.

Strangely, when people think about their networks, they often think about family and friends but not the people in the best

If you’ll be searching for a job in 2015, don’t just apply the same old tired job search advice about expanding your network, improving your social media presence and cleaning up your résumé. Those things matter, of course, but they’re hardly revolutionary. Instead, here are six New Year’s resolutions to truly kick off your search from a position of strength:

Write better cover letters. If you’re like most job seekers, your cover letter is, well, bland and pretty boring. It likely doesn’t do much more than summarise the experience that’s already listed on your résumé. Using a whole page of your application to merely repeat the contents of the other pages is doing yourself a serious disservice.

Your cover letter should add new information to your candidacy, such as personal traits, work habits and why you’re genuinely interested in the job. And importantly, it should be heavily customized to the particular opening you’re applying for. Don’t send the same letter for each job you apply for.

Learn from past mistakes. Effectively job searching isn’t just about getting a job offer; it’s about identifying jobs where you’ll excel and be happy and avoiding the ones where you won’t. If you’ve ended up in jobs that weren’t quite right for you in the past, there were probably signs you overlooked during the hiring process.

Avoid making similar mistakes in the future by reflecting on what red flags you ignored in the past – such as an unpleasant interviewer or a culture that didn’t feel like a fit – and vowing to heed warning signs this time around.

Stop agonising about when or whether you’ll hear back from an employer. One of the worst parts of job hunting is sitting around and wondering when you’ll hear back from an employer after you interview or submit an application, and trying to read into every tiny sign from an employer.

Do yourself a favor, and vow to move on mentally after applying or interviewing. Tell yourself you didn’t get the job so that you’re not sitting around agonising about why you haven’t heard anything, and let it be a pleasant surprise if they do contact you. This approach won’t hurt your chances, and it will make you a whole lot happier in the meantime.

Help another job seeker. If you spot a job opening that looks perfect for a friend, pass it along. Or if you have a talented contact who’s applying at a company where you know the hiring manager, reach out and put in a good word.

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