With the New Year right around the corner, we can all think about a fresh start. This time of year often brings personal reflection. Maybe your job search hasn’t worked out exactly as planned so far. It is natural to feel excited and hopeful at the start of your job search and have enthusiasm wane over time. Don’t be discouraged. You and your job search just need to be reinvigorated. We’re here to help.

How to jump start your job search:

    Ramp Up Your Social Media Plan
    Take the time to review your LinkedIn profile (if you haven’t created one yet, now’s the time to do it.) Job seekers that do not have an online presence are at a big disadvantage. Make social media a priority in the new year. Polish up your online presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and don’t forget to create an effective personal online brand.

    Talk to a Recruiter
    Leave no stone unturned. In many industries recruiters are a valuable source of information and important leads. Since recruiters have access, on average, to about 15% of all available jobs, they are a necessary part of your well-rounded work search. Your objective is to make a recruiting company interested in your skills and qualifications. Treat them as you would any potential employer, and be sure to do some research on those you are interested in, before making contact.

    Tap Into the Hidden Job Market
    Many job seekers rely on online job boards to find jobs. Workopolis has this covered. However, don’t ignore other avenues as well. Why not rethink your job search strategy by more effectively tapping into the hidden job market? The hidden job market is essentially those jobs that are not advertised. It has been said that this market comprises 75-80% of the available jobs. Networking is the key to tapping into this market.

    Volunteer Your Time
    If you are able to volunteer your time in a capacity that uses your skills and expertise, you will gain valuable experience. Volunteering also allows you to network with others and have access to new experiences. Adding volunteer work to your resume is also attractive to prospective employers. If you can spare even a bit of time, volunteering can be well worth it.

    Every year, one of the top New Year’s resolutions people make is to exercise. Whether joining a gym, or being more active in general, the benefits of exercise are clear. For job seekers exercise is crucial. Looking for work can test even the most successful individual’s self-esteem. What better way to keep motivated and improve self-confidence than through exercise. The endorphins you release will make you feel happier. Not to mention, you’ll tighten and tone your body. You’ll look and feel great.

    Refocus Your Job Strategy
    With a brand new year comes a new beginning. Build upon all the positive experiences in your job search, and chalk up any negative ones as a learning experience. Prepare a list those things you want to accomplish in the New Year. As well, write down deadlines for each task. Even if the deadlines are not strictly adhered to, putting things on paper will help keep you focused.

There is no one right way to find a job. The best way to increase your chances of success is to explore as many different avenues as possible. If a strategy doesn’t seem to be effective, move on to other ones. Networking is essential to finding which strategies work best for your industry and connecting with influential people. Above all, don’t give up! Jump start your job search and you’ll be well on your way to a successful 2014. Happy New Year!

Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of DirectoryOfCareers.ca. He can be reached at kmakra@sentormedia.com.