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December 11, 2017

Want a New Job in 2018? Work On Your Game Plan Now

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Want a New Job in 2018?

By The Sacramento Bee

Have you been thinking about a move to a new job for ages, but doing nothing about it? Let 2018 be the year that you take control of your future. Here's the New-Job-In-2018 Game Plan to follow...

Week 1: Update Your Resume

During Week 1, focus on updating your resume. While fine-tuning will have to happen as you begin tailoring each resume to the specifics called for in job advertisements, you can use this first week to add the specifics of your current job to the most recent version of your resume--job title, company, company location, dates of employment, your most noteworthy duties, and most importantly, your quantifiable accomplishments.

Aim for around 5-8 bullet points when listing your duties and accomplishments, and remember to use strong, present-tense action verbs in your descriptions. Also, know that a resume builder can help alleviate a lot of the pains and headaches and aggravations that arise when it comes time to revise a resume (or write one from scratch).

Week 2: Update LinkedIn and Clean Up Social Media Profiles

Now that your resume is updated with your most current job, use Week 2 to update your LinkedIn page. If you haven't even looked at LinkedIn since snagging your current job, now is the time. Add your current job to the Experience section of LinkedIn, as well as the duties and accomplishments you listed in your updated resume.

Also, consider reaching out to a few trusted colleagues or superiors from past jobs, and see if they'd be willing to write up a LinkedIn Recommendation to go along with your profile. Finally, make sure your profile pic is recent and of good quality -- at the least, make sure it's not blurry.

While you're at it, give your other social media profiles a close look. Your safest bet is to make everything private; however, you never know who is connected to whom. Your best bet is to delete any content (posts, pictures, etc.) that could put you in a bad light.

Week 3: Create a Cover Letter Outline

No one loves writing cover letters. That said, writing a cover letter doesn't have to involve circling the gates of hell. A soothing fact to keep in mind when you're writing one? The document should consist of only a single page. And really, once you break down the elements needed for a successful cover letter, a lot of your hyperventilating should come to an end.

Use Week 3 to create a simple, reminder-specific cover letter outline that notes the nuts and bolts that must be captured in the three paragraphs a cover letter should consist of. When it comes time to write your first one, all the main concepts of the letter will be front and center in your head, and the writing should flow quite naturally.

Week 4: Start Researching Companies and Opportunities

Ask yourself where your job seeking priorities lie. Are you willing to take a job at a company that you know little about, or are you only willing to consider positions at companies that you know and trust?

Think about your career preferences as you begin thinking about a move to a new company. Make a list of companies that you'd love to work for, and begin checking (and bookmarking) their job boards. Do any of your friends work at companies that you'd love to work for? List out those friends too, and reach out to them to see if they know of any upcoming openings.

Week 5: Take Note of Sales, and Buy an Interview Outfit

With many, many post-holiday sales afoot, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a new interview outfit. Consider the industry you're in (or hoping to move into), and shop for clothing that would be suitable to wear to an interview in that industry.

If you're in accounting or finance, you'll of course want to aim for an outfit that's a bit more conservative and buttoned-up (think full-on suit). If you're in a creative field, your outfit could probably run to a more business casual side, but here are some basic interview clothing rules that apply to all industries: no sneakers, no jeans, no tee-shirts!

Just use common sense when it comes to picking out a new interview outfit. You need to make the best (and safest) impression possible in an interview - what clothing will help you accomplish that goal?

Best of luck with your new job search in the New Year!

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