Setting your New Year’s (career) resolution

By: upskhill

2 January 2023

It’s that time of the year again, when you are most likely filled with expectations and feelings of hope. This excitement can be extremely beneficial for you especially if you are looking to make a career change - whether that is looking to move up in your current field or finding a whole new gig.

But like many people, there is a risk that you may fail to make good on your plans once the glow of a fresh new year wears off. So, it’s best to strike now, while the iron is still hot. Besides, the odds are in your favour because the first quarter of the year i.e. January to March is typically the best time of year to find a new position.

So, while you are still buzzing from the excitement of the new year and the new promises it holds, here are five practical actions you can take to help ensure that your New Year’s (career) resolutions don’t go unrealized.

1. Update your CV/resume

As obvious as this may seem, there is a tendency for people to just neglect a CV/resume refresh when getting back into the job market. But you don’t have to be one of the thousands (maybe even millions) of people in this camp. This blogpost guides you through the process of updating your CV, including how to create a ‘Blueprint CV’ - the foundational document from which you can tailor all your other CVs/resumes based on the job you are applying for. There’s also some bonus help on getting started with this CV Builder Guide.

2. Audit and update your social media pages

Social media is now an important job search and screening medium so it’s important to ensure that your public profiles on these platforms are updated and professional. Remember that employers often check job applicants’ social media pages. And whether or not you think this practice is fair is another debate entirely. The reality for now is that employers may take an interest in your digital footprint, so if your social media pages are publicly accessible, make sure you are comfortable with the fact that a prospective employer may look at the contents of the page. If you are not, you can of course use a profile name that doesn’t immediately identify you as the owner of the page. Better still, switch your profile to private.

3. Selectively target jobs and employers

When targeting companies you want to work for and roles you want to apply to, be selective. First begin by writing down the characteristics of the company you want to work for and then the kinds of roles that you want to apply for. Next, visit professional networking sites like LinkedIn to search for companies and roles that fit the descriptions you wrote down. As you find the companies and roles, tailor your CV/resume to suit the opportunity. While this process means that you are likely to send in fewer job applications, it increases your chances of landing the job you want at the company you want to work for.

4. Practise your interview skills

Your CV/resume (if written well) will surely land you some job interviews, but unfortunately, not all of these will result in you getting a job. However, do not be discouraged. Instead, think about your unsuccessful job interviews as opportunities to help you hone your interviewing skills. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot prepare ahead of time ahead of EVERY job interview. You can definitely increase your chances of landing as many job offers as possible after your job interviews by practising ahead with this Interview Prep Worksheet.

5. Keep acquiring new skills

Whether you are still job hunting or you’ve just landed a new role, it is important that you do not neglect your professional development. Not only will this enhance your resume and show potential employers that you have a growth mindset and are willing to continually grow your skills, but it also allows you to continue to excel in your role and your career more generally. It is possible you already have skills that you have decided you want to build, but if you haven’t (or can’t) decide, you can look through job descriptions for roles that interest you and see what employers are looking for, and determine if your education and skills are a match. If they are not, go ahead and sign up for online classes so you can stay ahead of the curve and be more hireable in your intended field.

Are there other practical actions you think are necessary to stay on track with your New Year’s career resolution? If so, let us know by heading over to our social media pages (@upskhill on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter) and commenting on the relevant posts. 

Also, if you enjoyed this blogpost, don’t forget to share it with your network.

The first quarter of the year i.e. January to March is typically the best time of year to find a new position

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