A new year is often seen as an opportunity for personal growth and rebuilding — establishing a list of resolutions to benefit yourself, and fighting against all odds to stick to it. The struggles from the past year begin to feel as if they were miles away, and you can finally move ahead toward greater things.
For those individuals in hot pursuit of employment, the new year is the perfect time to reinvent your job search. While the previous year may have left you exhausted and frustrated, the changing of the calendar can provide a chance to reflect, and ultimately develop new more powerful strategies.
With 17% of American businesses planning to hire new workers in the first three months of 2013, job seekers should be prepared to go the extra mile when it comes to standing out to potential employers. This means tossing out your generic resume, strengthening your networking and getting a little creative.
1. Go Niche
If your previous job search relied solely on the general job market or big name job boards, it might be time to take advantage of your niche. This simply means placing a strong focus on searching for a job within your specialized industry while emphasizing your unique personal qualifications.
There are many ways to “go niche” — all of which will play a beneficial role in your attempt to stand out to hiring managers and recruiters. First, embark on a search to find niche job boards specifically dedicated to your industry and regional job boards for your area. These sites will give you access to a plethora of job listings that don’t make it to larger job boards, smaller applicant pools (less competition!), and the potential to build direct connections with the people who will be hiring you. Then, begin completely immersing yourself in your niche to build resonance with those who matter most — attend industry networking events and get active on industry social forums.
2. Get Creative
The current job climate makes standing out a necessity. The monotony of the job search may have left you drained of your creativity, but it’s important to place a high focus on looking for new ways to impress your potential employers in 2013. And this doesn’t mean attaching your resume to a box of chocolate and having it hand-delivered to the hiring manager.
Being a creative job seeker has little to do with working in a creative field. So, even if you don’t consider yourself to be “creative,” you can start by getting inspired by the success stories of other job seekers who got hired by implementing creative methods.
There’s certainly no set standard on how to go about this, but keep in mind that you want to go above and beyond to be noticed by your potential employer and showcase yourself as being the perfect candidate for the position. This may mean developing a video or multimedia resume or creating an infographic — do whatever it takes to give potential employers the unique opportunity to experience why you’re better than the rest.
3. Upgrade Your Skills
Unemployment can often leave you feeling stagnant when it comes to your on-the-job skills. Your 2013 job search depends on a strong skill set to set you apart from other candidates.
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Look for ways to keep your valuable skills in check while you seek employment. Many job seekers take on freelance opportunities, volunteer their skills to charities or work with causes they’re passionate about. Your job search might even be the perfect time to focus on building new skills. Consider taking some online courses, participating in webinars, or attending conferences.
4. Match Your Culture to a Company
Exploring the cultures of the companies you’re interested in should be at the top of your list when searching for a job. If you missed this key element in your 2012 job search, 2013 is the perfect time to implement it. Truly understanding your personal values and how those relate to the culture of the company you’re applying for is an easy way to set yourself apart from other candidates. If you are certain one culture is the perfect match, express that and let it fuel you throughout the hiring process.
5. Utilize Your Networks
Online or off, strong networks are key to a successful job search. Use the new year as an excuse to get in touch with all of your connections. Send out handwritten notes, or email to check in with acquaintances and old coworkers to see how they’re doing and what they’re working on. Seek out new ways to utilize your network by putting effort into developing relationships with the connections you already have, as well as gaining new ones.
Turn over a new leaf in 2013 by pushing your job search in a direction that leaves hiring managers unable to move past you.
How do you plan to stand out during your job search in 2013?
Mashable Job Board Listings
The Mashable Job Board connects job-seekers across the U.S. with unique career opportunities in the digital space. While we publish a wide range of job listings, we have selected a few job opportunities from the past two weeks to help get you started. Happy hunting!
- Managing Editor at The Onion in Chicago
- Software Engineer – Back-End at Yelp in San Francisco
- Web Visual Designer at Smarterer in Boston
Image courtesy of lavarrue
Category: Social Media