You’ve been complaining about your present career all year. You’re convinced that the ideal career for you is out there. But what have you done to change? Zip. Nada. Hey, stop cursing the darkness and light a candle—make that 5 candles and call them New Year’s resolutions. Some suggestions to start you off:
I Will Ditch Job Boards
Let’s face it, most job boards are like new car ads—everyone has seen them. By the time you send in your resume and cover letter, the employer has already received 99 applications and is so frustrated with reading the first 50 that they’ve gone with an internal candidate, relative, or personal recommendation. So ditch the job boards. Most job seekers answer ads posted on job boards because they’re easy. Easy is why you’re still in that “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” tiny office.
I Will Aim High
Maybe the reason you haven’t been able to move into a better career is because you’ve consistently set your sights too low. You’re intimidated by the “perfect candidate” job descriptions specified in job boards, or by listening to HR managers and recruiters list their endless “must haves” for a particular job. Keep in mind that these “applicant must-haves” represent their wish list. Rarely do they expect to find a candidate that meets all their optimal requirements. So send in that cover letter and resume. You may just be the best candidate for the job.
I Will Re-Brand Myself
When prospective employers or recruiters Google you, what do they see? A short LinkedIn listing? The map to your house? Time to do some branding. Get your name out there. Establish your street cred as a knowledgeable pro in your field. Write and publish articles on the various sites of your new industry. Do this often and fill each article with well-researched facts and opinions. Take a stand. Develop a following. When people Google you, the search should return at least two pages with your name.
I Will Add a Skill
There are probably one or two skills that you lack in the “must haves” listings for jobs in your new career. Take a class (online or onsite) that will add this missing skill to your skillset. Add it to you resume and if it’s really critical, to your cover letter. If your skills are up to par, learn a foreign language. In today’s global economy, fluency in a foreign tongue can be the deciding factor in landing that plum job. Verstehen Sie?
I Will Perfect My Interviewing Skills
If you’re the kind of job applicant who looks good on paper, but blows the interview, you need to practice and perfect this skill. Stand in front of a mirror, practice answering those tough interview questions you’ve been reading about (Google them, they’re all over the web). Pay attention to your body language, awkward pauses, and “Minnie Mouse” voice inflection. Have a friend stand behind you when you do this, so he or she can say, “See, you always do that. Cut it out.” BTW, here’s my favorite interview.
Want to change careers? Before you don that silly party hat and blow your noisemaker, make (and promise to follow through) with the aforementioned 5 New Year’s resolutions. And have a Happy New Year!
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