New Year, New Job: 51 New Job-Search Tactics to Try

By Charles Purdy, Monster.com Senior Editor

We hear it all the time from frustrated job seekers: “I’ve tried everything but can’t find a good job.” It’s tough out there, and that’s the truth. But while I sympathize with the frustration and fear that come with a long, difficult job search or a bad-fit job (having lived through both), I want to say that there’s always something else to try.

So with that in mind, I put together a list of 51 job-seeking and career-development actions — some basic and some more “outside the box” — that you can try. I combed the Monster.com Advice library for tips, and even asked @monstercareers Twitter followers for their thoughts.

Not all these ideas will be right for you, but at least a couple of them should get you thinking about new job-search tactics or career-related New Year’s resolutions (because “find a new job” is a fine resolution but so massive that it’s hard to take action on).

Why not pick four or five and add them to your list?

  1. Find a volunteer opportunity (great for networking and resume building). (This suggestion was seconded by @jgiangrande on Twitter.)
  2. Make a top-five list of companies you’d like to work for, and research each one — write one-page report of your findings.
  3. Use your research to make a business proposal for your hiring — and then contact the company to make your case.
  4. Find a mentor.
  5. Be a mentor.
  6. Look into job shadowing — especially at a target employer.
  7. Ask a contact at one of your target companies for an informational interview.
  8. If you’re currently employed, make three development or career-advancement goals.
  9. Set up appointments to discuss your goals with your manager and/or someone in HR.
  10. Start a blog related to your career or industry.
  11. Start a blog related to one of your hobbies.
  12. Set a goal of updating your blog on a regular (or more frequent) basis.
  13. Find the blogs of influential people in your industry, and comment intelligently on posts.
  14. Research ways to gain your blog more traffic.
  15. Read three articles about resume best practices; then update your resume (don’t forget the resume uploaded to your Monster.com profile!).
  16. Research job ads for positions you’d like, and note common keywords used. Make sure your resume includes these keywords.
  17. Create an untraditional version of your resume — for instance, a video resume or a graphical resume.
  18. If your resume has an “objective” statement, replace it with a summary statement.
  19. Write down your answers to 10 difficult interview questions.
  20. Record yourself answering 10 difficult interview questions, and practice until you love your answers. (Then choose ten more questions.)
  21. Prepare and practice your elevator speech.
  22. Create a personal-branding statement.
  23. Put your personal branding statement on all your online profiles and in your email signature.
  24. Update your profile information on Monster.com.
  25. “Find new efficient ways to communicate at work. E-mail can be slow. What’s the next big thing?” (This tip came from @corbs09 on Twitter)
  26. Create a job-search schedule — and stick to it!
  27. Read a book about leadership.
  28. Read a book about teamwork or collaboration.
  29. Ask a colleague you admire to recommend a professional-development book (then follow up by sending him or her your comments and thoughts).
  30. Read a book related to your industry.
  31. Ask contacts you admire to recommend some books related to your industry (then follow up by sending him or her your comments and thoughts).
  32. After you read a professional-development book, write a review or summary and share it with contacts.
  33. Start a professional-development book club with other job seekers or coworkers.
  34. Assess your professional network to make sure it’s in good shape.
  35. Complete your profiles on professional-networking sites and platforms.
  36. Find a way to help someone in your professional network (and repeat this tactic often — networking needs to have a lot of “give” for every “take”).
  37. Ask a career-related question on a question-and-answer site like Quora.
  38. Answer a career-related question on a site like Quora.
  39. Become a social networking junkie, and build career-related profiles on Facebook, the BeKnown Facebook app, and Twitter.
  40. “Constantly network online and in-person.” (This tip came from @kdevito on Twitter.)
  41. Set a monthly new-contacts goal — for example, five new contacts per month on BeKnown.
  42. “Set a goal for yourself and then network — find some connections to help get you where you want to be.” (This tip came from from @mike_kohn on Twitter.)
  43. Create a job-search club or group (online or real world), for mutual support.
  44. Create an online group related to your industry or career.
  45. Study a new language (or work on a language you might be a bit rusty in).
  46. Learn a new software program.
  47. Enroll in a public-speaking, acting, or improvisation group or class, to build confidence.
  48. Take a writing class.
  49. Finish a degree or certification program that’ll take you to the next stage in your career.
  50. Explore the idea of turning a hobby into a side business.
  51. Make sure you’re getting the most information you can from the Internet (with Web alerts and so on).

What are your job-search tips or resolutions for the new year? Share them in the Comments section below!

 

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