One thing that hasn’t changed with the new calendar: If you want a new job, you’re going to have to take some action to get one. The sit-back-and-wait technique is low-impact, but usually doesn’t yield results. If you’re hoping for a new job in the new year, make sure you keep the following in mind:
Apply for the right jobs. Stop applying for jobs you’re not qualified to do. Hiring managers are laughing to their friends about people who seem to apply for any job without regard for the qualifications. It will not help you to apply for positions if you don’t have the necessary skills, so don’t waste your time.
Target and identify specific organizations where you want to work. If you’re not focused, it will be very difficult to land a job, and it’s virtually impossible to leverage a useful network if you don’t have an idea of what you want to do and where you want to do it.
Identify allies for your job search. Networking is still important, so don’t overlook the value of inviting other people to join you in your job search efforts. You need people who believe in your cause and are convinced that you deserve the kind of position you seek, so don’t approach contacts as a desperate job seeker who needs a lot of help.
Eliminate information from your resume that confuses possible employers or causes them to say, “hmmm.” Once you follow all of these steps, you need to seal the deal with application materials that don’t confuse the recipient.
When you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to a new job in the new year. (Read the entire post via my column in U.S. News & World Report.