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Career New Years resolutions

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2013 is fast approaching its end and people all over are gearing up to ring in the New Year. If you’re anything like most, it probably sneaked up on you. Whether you were ready for it or not, though, the season of resolutions is upon us. Many make the same resolutions year after year without making much headway: lose weight, quit smoking, save money, or get more sleep. The missing link in achieving your goals is coming up with a viable action plan before you make up your mind about what to change in the New Year.

If one of your resolutions this year is to change jobs in 2014, chances are you’ve already tackled some of the obvious stuff like reviewing your resume and surfing Career Builder for job postings. Here are a few things to incorporate that you may have overlooked:

Revamp your online presence: “But I just did that last year!” Unfortunately for those with full schedules, this is one list item that should be on the list of resolutions every year. Use your time off during the holidays to do a review of your professional social networking profiles and the resume/cover letters you plan to send out. Using these online tools won’t do you any good if you’re not keeping them relevant. Add keywords and certifications that you think recruiters and employers will be searching for to ensure your profile is at the top of the search results and your resume doesn't get overlooked in the employer's database if a relevant role comes available.

Do some old-fashioned footwork: In today’s digital world, it’s easy to forget about picking up the telephone. You have to keep in mind that you’re a cast of thousands online. Look for advocates where you can find them and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call a recruiter in your field or a former colleague. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you have a perfectly good network already established. Recruiters are asking for referrals from everyone they talk to - does your network even know you’re open to looking? If not, you could be missing out on some valuable recommendations! Reach out to wish folks a happy New Year, and make sure to mention that you are back on the market.

Work on your 30-second pitch: This step will ensure that when you do get that call from an interested recruiter, you keep their attention. It’s going to require a little introspection on your part, but that is what setting resolutions for the New Year is all about, after all! Take some time to think about exactly what it is that you want and how to best articulate that to potential employers. Develop and practice some concise verbiage that you can use to explain what you do now, what you’re looking for, and what your strengths are.

Tweak your resolutions to match your career goals for 2014, but be sure to spend some time on each of the above points to help work out where your efforts will be most effective in the New Year.

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