Finding a new job is routinely among the most common New Year resolutions – and one of the most frequently abandoned. Nancy Wajler, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Harper College, has tips to help jobseekers stick with it in 2013 and get a leg up on the competition.
Wajler, who heads up the College's Career Stimulus program for under- and unemployed area adults, anticipates the new year will yield more available jobs with an emphasis on web-based searches and hires.
"The economic and political backdrop should be more stabilized in the aftermath of the presidential election," she says, "and that can influence the jobless recovery rate, prompting more businesses to hire."
Career Stimulus has served 3,500 jobseekers since its 2009 inception, helping about a dozen earn jobs monthly.
Wajler offers these five tips for advancing your career in 2013:
Seek out accountability. Nearly 36 percent of New Year resolutions are broken after the first month due to lack of motivation or instant gratification. To combat the slump, Wajler suggests jobseekers find a friend, mentor or peer group to share goals with and help keep them on track.
Make volunteering your priority. Volunteering will rejuvenate a job search, Wajler says. Volunteer positions build experiences and confidence that can prove beneficial in an interview later. Wajler suggests using an online volunteer opportunity aggregate site to find options.
Increase your marketable skills. Being knowledgeable in Microsoft Office Suite is the expected status quo. To be a better-qualified candidate in 2013, Wajler recommends training in new technologies like SEO, video editing, web design, and CRM software.
Document your success. For an extra edge in the tech-savvy new year, jobseekers should create digital resumes and portfolios that showcase work samples and can be sought out online by hiring managers or left with professional contacts in a CD format.
Leverage social media. More than 90 percent of hiring managers and recruiters use LinkedIn to find and screen candidates, and the number of companies using social media for new hires is only projected to increase. To ensure social media profiles showcase their professional personality, Wajler advises jobseekers to share photos and links about their areas of expertise and keep profiles free of profanity.