Finding a new job is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions.
It's up there with eating healthier, losing weight, and saving money.
Like those other resolutions, its continual popularity signals how demanding it can be, and December's best intentions don't necessarily translate to success.
Despite the trials, a job search can revitalise your career. Here are five tips to boost you to success in the New Year.
1. Find the demand
If the skills and services you can provide are in high demand, your chances of landing a job increase. It's that simple.
While you can't control the job market, you can research what positions and skills are currently in demand.
Do your research and find out what industries are forecasted to grow.
What if your industry isn't a top contender?
You can still focus your resumes and cover letters on desired skills.
According to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2018, soft skills and learning abilities will be increasingly important across many industries.
2. Find out what your industry needs and show you can provide it
No job is one-size-fits-all, so your resume can't be either.
However, the thought of creating a new resume for each application sounds exhausting, doesn't it?
The trick is to create a resume template you can tailor for each application.
Your base template should contain information that doesn't change (job history, education, etc.).
When it comes time to apply, read the job posting and take note of the skills and qualifications you possess.
Then tailor your resume to optimise around those keywords.
Why? Because today's recruiters use applicant-tracking systems to scan hundreds of resumes for keywords before any human eyes see them.
If your resume lacks those keywords, the system won't recognise you as a qualified candidate.
3. Clean up your online presence
Recruiters don't rely on just resumes and cover letters alone. After all, a quick Google search may tell them more about you than you'd like them to know.
Before starting your job search, tidy up your online presence.
Ensure your LinkedIn and other public profiles are up to date.
Delete old and unprofessional social media messages.
Upload your most recent and best work samples for would-be employers to peruse.
Don't have much of an online presence?
Make developing one part of your resolution.
4. Practice common interview questions
Recruiters are creatures of habit.
They have certain routines when it comes to how they perform interviews and what questions they ask.
Use that to your advantage and practice the most common interview questions beforehand.
One technique recruiters love is the STAR method.
When a recruiter asks a STAR question—for example, "Can you describe a conflict and how you handled it?"—they want a specific response.
It should set up a situation, detail the tasks, describe your actions, and provide the results. Learning this formula can help you devise great answers.
5. Take care of yourself
No job search is easy. Even the best is stressful, time-consuming, and anxiety-inducing. To prevent burnout, it's important you take care of yourself mentally and physically.
With all you have to do, don't forget to exercise, eat nutritious meals, and get enough sleep.
These are equally necessary to keep your body healthy and your mind functioning at its best. They also keep stress levels in check.
If things get extra stressful, you may need to adopt extra strategies.
We recommend yoga, breathing exercises, or walks in the park daily. Take at least one day a week to pursue hobbies, treat yourself, or otherwise disconnect.
Make this year your year
Unlike other New Year's resolutions, the jobs search comes with a definitive finish line: landing a new job.
This makes it easier to plan a strategy, stay focused, and measure your success.
With these five tips, you can better prepare yourself for the year and propel yourself toward that goal.