The holidays are almost here. Once the holiday festivities wind down, we can hopefully relish in some time for ourselves. It’s the perfect opportunity to get some well-deserved rest and re-energize our mind and body. Enjoy, but remember it’s also a great time to step back and do an overall assessment of your job search.
Reflecting on your job search does not have to be a long and cumbersome process. Even spending a few hours over the holidays re-evaluating your plan can make a big difference. Answer these questions: What have you accomplished in your job search to date? What are the biggest obstacles you face in looking for work? What can you do to reinvigorate yourself and your job search efforts? Looking at the big picture is always easier when you are away from the daily grind, so try to use your time wisely over the holidays.
To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider during the break to help you jump start your job search in the New Year:
Spend a bit of time tying up loose ends. Get those little outstanding things that have been sitting on your desk resolved. As well, reply to any unanswered emails that you didn’t get around to before the holidays. We can all get bogged down with the small stuff. You will feel more confident to tackle the larger, more important priorities in the New Year with all the little tasks out of the way.
Build Your Personal Brand
Think about your personal brand. For a job seeker, this is extremely important. Firstly, when a prospective employer does an online search of your name, what will they find? To become visible and relevant to an employer, it is important that the appropriate online entries appear to showcase your talents and skills. How do you do this? Write an article or blog, comment on other people’s blogs, or create a website. Anything that gets your name out there in a professional manner will benefit your job search.
Review Your Resume
Over the holidays is a perfect time to re-read your resume. Does it still reflect your current situation? Does your resume grab an employer’s attention? Does it highlight your best attributes and key qualifications? Think about showing your resume to others you know and trust. Ask them to be brutally honest. They may point out things you failed to include, or changes that could improve your resume. In the New Year, why not show your resume to a qualified career counsellor and get expert advice?
Think About Your Network
Give some thought to your network of contacts. Go through your personal notes, and review your LinkedIn page. Are there current contacts you should re-connect with again? Make a list of any new people you would like to connect with in the New Year. Are there any professional associations in your industry that you should consider joining in the coming months? Most offer networking events and are a great way to meet influential people.
With others busy over the holidays, it is a great time to do some solo tasks that you can complete without getting interrupted. Make a list of some top employers you’d like to potentially work for and research them. Search the company on LinkedIn to learn more about them, and to determine if there any individuals within the company that should become a possible connection.
Consider Further Education
Think about options in regards to further education. Are there any courses you can take in the New Year to make you a more attractive candidate in your industry? Even if you don’t complete them for some time, including current courses and training on your resume is a positive sign to most employers. Maybe this is the perfect time to consider learning another language?
This holiday season ensure some time off and much needed rest is at the top of your wish list. Re-energize your mind and body with those things you enjoy. However, don’t forget to spend some time during the break to jump start your job search for the New Year. A little bit of preparation now will go a long way in creating great new opportunities for the future.
Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of DirectoryOfCareers.ca. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.