New Year’s Resolution for Job Seekers

Image via Ashley Brooke Photography

Job searching in the middle of a pandemic has been the most challenging for job seekers. Job seekers have been blindly applying for 10 months or more and building their network. Some have been plugging away and applying to jobs since March and have had little success with interviews and no offers with no feedback. And some have been forced (by the pandemic) into starting their own businesses/side hustles to pay off student loans, rent, debt, etc.

Whatever the case may be, job searching has always been challenging. However, the best way for it to be a success is to remain positive, and to not give up. Giving up is not an option. Show employers that you are willing, wanting and able to work!

Here are some New Year’s resolutions to help jump start your motivation and pave way to a successful job search.


  1. Connections can help a great deal. Spend more time talking to people than submitting your application to posted job ads.
    • The quickest way to get back into the job market will be your network and your referrals. Who knows that a 30 minute coffee chat could turn into an opportunity of a lifetime.
    • You would be surprised that you will have connections in your circle who know about the existing job vacancies that aren’t posted on job boards. In other words, the hidden job market.
    • When reaching out to your connections, you may want to follow the email template below:
      • “Hi [Connection’s Name],

        I hope this email finds you well. How was your holiday season and New Year’s? It is shocking how 2020 flew by.

        I wanted to reach out because things have changed at [Current Company] and am specifically looking to transition to [Job Title] at [Industry/Sector/Company] where I can utilize my [Insert Relevant Skills] to be able to do [Insert Desired Activities].

        I wanted to reach out to see if you know of anyone who could connect me to such an opportunity. I understand that this is a big ask and your time is valuable. If it is too much right now, don’t feel any pressure as I totally understand.

        Either way, I hope you are staying healthy and safe. I look forward to catching up with you soon!

        Best Regards,
        [Your Name]”
  2. Update your resume.
    • Your resume should always be different and tailored based on the job description. Study the job description carefully and proofread your resume before uploading it on the job board because you want to get past the Applicant Tracking System.
      • Education: Don’t just focus on the schools and institutions that you have attended. Include organizations that you were involved with as well! If you had a GPA that is higher than a 3.0, showcase it and be proud of that achievement!
      • Work Experience: I mention this all the time but make sure your duties are not only duties, however make it into an accomplishment by incorporating quantifiable metrics using numbers and percentages. Also, tailor it towards the field that you are interested in.
      • Leadership Experience: This is important whether you are looking for a job or internship. If you were active in many organizations and clubs, list it and highlight that leadership because that is always going to be a plus.
      • Skills and Projects: Again, just like your work experience, tailor your relevant skills towards the field of interest. If you have worked on special projects that were tailored towards the specific field of interest, include that as well.
    • Have your peer, mentor, career coach or a professional critique your resume.
  3. Hone your interview skills.
    • Have a friend or family member interview you and provide feedback.
    • Participate in mock interviews. Especially during this pandemic, many virtual platforms are partnering with big companies (such as Moody’s, Google, McKinsey & Company, Credit Suisse) to connect with nonprofit organizations and social ventures to give back and provide these free services to job seekers.
  4. Sharpen your skills.
    • If there is a specific field you are looking to go into or a job that you want to apply for, study the job description closely and discover if your educations and skills are going to be a good match.
    • If you do not have the skills that the employers are looking for, you should look into taking online classes that will help you move forward in your intended field.
  5. Map out what you are looking for.
    • Don’t just randomly apply for jobs because you need a job. Seek purpose in the kind of job you want. Make sure your job search has a path. What is it that you really want in your job? Do you want to work entirely remote? Do you want to work on-site? Do you want to work flexible or set hours?
    • Follow the SMART goal outline via FlexJobs.
      • (S)pecific: What industry or sector do you want to work in? Do you want to stay local, or are you willing to move? How much do you need to earn?
      • (M)easurable: To meet your goal, how many resumes will you send out per week? How many networking events will you attend each month?
      • (A)ttainable: Do you understand the difference between your dreams and your goals? Keep in mind that some things are beyond your sphere of influence. You cannot control how many interviews or offers you get, but you can set a goal for the number of business connections you’ll make each month.
      • (R)ealistic: What can you achieve in this moment? If you have little experience, it’s unlikely you can move directly into a C-level job. Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve right now, but also plan for bigger and better goals in the future.
      • (T)imely: When is your deadline? This aspect of goal setting is often overlooked, but deadlines—even arbitrary ones—are important motivators. Since you can’t control when you’ll get hired, you may find that a resolution such as “I will find a job within the next six months” is less effective than “I will apply to at least five vacancies this week.”
  6. Target specific companies that you are interested in working for.
    • Make a list of your top target companies
    • Research, research, research them!!! Anything you can find such as articles, interviews with executives, surveys, podcasts, etc.
    • LinkedIn is a valuable platform for you to use in landing your dream job at your target company. From there, you may want to locate contacts who can refer you into your target role such as a hiring manager, team lead, recruiter or a friend who was hired there.
    • Reach out and cold email them.

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