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    Start Your New Year Job Search the Right Way

    As we turn the page to a new year, some of resolve to eat better, lose weight, give up bad habits… and some resolve to land a new job in the coming year.

    While I can’t help those other areas, I can offer tips if you’re planning to step out into the job market in 2019.

    What’s changed since the last time you looked for work?  I guess that depends on how long it’s been since you looked around.  Technology has heavily impacted how people learn of, apply to, and interview for positions.

    You’ll want to become familiar with job sites such as Indeed, Monster, Career Builder and others.  LinkedIn has many jobs listed, too, but it also serves as the primary social medium platform for professionals in a job search – so much so that I host a weekly LinkedIn workshop to ensure my program’s clients are fully utilizing it in their searches.

    Be aware you’ll need to customize your resume based on the job for which you’re applying.  Gone are the days with a one-size-fits-all resume where you use only your cover letter to show why you’re a fit.  Yes, you should still write a cover letter, just be aware the employer likely won’t read it unless they like your resume.

    Customizing your resume means incorporating the key words (functions, processes, acronyms, jargon) mentioned in the job description and/or qualifications.  Of course, do it only if you’re being truthful.  Make sure to cite your accomplishments, quantifying them where possible.

    Technical skills have taken on a much greater role in someone being able to perform their job.

    The days of someone without technical skills being able to support themselves, much less support a family, are largely gone.  Does this mean you have to go back for a college degree?  Not necessarily.  But it may mean you’ll need to upgrade your computer or other skills.  Our workplace is changing.  It’s important you keep your tech skills up to date.

    Another change is the increased reliance on staffing companies/recruiters.  More and more we’re seeing employers elect to use a staffing company in lieu of hiring the employee directly.  This allows the employer to “try you before they buy you.”  So don’t discount staffing firms – they can often be that “foot in the door” to employers.

    Now you have the resume(s), you know to conduct web searches for openings, you’ve created your LinkedIn account and you’ve sought out recruiters.  That’s a great start!

    Start?  Yep.  One thing which hasn’t changed over time is the value of networking.  People tend to hire those they know, like and trust.  You’ll want to speak with as many people as possible to let them know you’re looking and what you’re looking for.  Ask for names of their friends so you can continue to grow your network.

    While you’re talking with others, be sure to ask questions about any barriers (education/past experiences/skills) which might hold you back.  You’ll hopefully not only learn about any obstacles, but in the meantime you’ll be developing new business relationships.

    The job search has changed.  If you’re starting a search in 2019, I hope today’s blog has given you a general sense for what you’ll need to do.  Good luck!

    Randy Wooden
    Randy Wooden is Director of the Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC. Randy launched The Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC, the first program of its type for any Goodwill®, in 2012. His experiences in career coaching, executive recruiting, business ownership, as a hiring manager and as a job seeker have afforded him the opportunity to view the hiring process from all angles. He developed and provided on-air talent for the Internet’s first daily, live television program targeted toward job hunters. He shares job search tips through a bi-weekly newspaper column; regular appearances on television, radio; and frequent public speaking appearances. Contact information: rwooden@goodwillnwnc.org, (336) 464-0516
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