It’s not unusual to breathe a massive sigh of relief as another year draws to a close.
Following a year of ups and downs, hard work, and new challenges you’re more than ready for a break and a reset – and there’s nothing quite like a clean slate, a fresh start, and a list of New Year’s resolutions to get you pumped for the year ahead.
In 2021, the urgency to put last year behind us and throw ourselves into a world of new opportunities is perhaps a little intensified. But as the disruption caused by COVID-19 looks set to continue long into the new year, starting 2021 with a bang will be more difficult than usual.
While widespread redundancies and major global shifts in workplace culture are driving a highly competitive job market, there will be opportunities aplenty for the right kind of talent.
Determined to put your best foot forward and land a dream role in 2021? Be sure to commit to these six New Year’s resolutions
1. Make lots (and lots) of lists to help focus your job search
Let’s admit it: the job-hunting process is stressful. And your stress levels will only rise with every unsuccessful application.
Under these circumstances, it might be tempting to frantically apply for as many positions as possible; a time-consuming and largely ineffective tactic, which considers the suitability of a role.
Resist the urge to adopt this scattergun approach by compiling a series of checklists to help drive and focus your search including:
- What are your main strengths/core skill set?
- What are your biggest achievements to date?
- What are your key interests/passions?
- Which aspects of former roles have you most enjoyed?
- Which companies would you most like to work for?
- What are you looking for in a new role/ what are you hoping to achieve?
- What employee benefits are most important to you?
Addressing these questions will help you to figure out your priorities, inform the content for your CV and cover letters, and support your interview preparation.
2. Refresh your resume and social media accounts
Revising your resume should undoubtedly be one of your New Year’s resolutions, because you won’t get far without an up to date resume.
Try to tailor your resume to cater to relevant industries and the types of role you’ll likely be applying for – omitting any irrelevant or out-of-date information. Depending on how widely you plan to cast your net and your experience to date, it might make sense to produce more than one version of your resume.
Your social media presence plays an equally important role in the job-hunting process. You might not be directly approached for a role via your LinkedIn account, but you can be sure that recruiters and prospective employers will seek out and assess your online profiles.
Do a quick scan of your personal social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram, to weed out any content you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see, and review your security settings.
Meanwhile, your LinkedIn account is a fantastic opportunity to showcase a little more of your personality and boast of your skillset, achievements, and experience. As well as updating your profile, leverage the platform to build your network of like-minded professionals and recruiters, and start actively engaging with relevant content. In a highly competitive job market, visibility and standing out from the crowd is key. Regular posting on social media will demonstrate that you have a genuine passion for the issues impacting your industry.
3. Cover all bases
Covering every base is a critical component of job hunting. You should never put all of your eggs into a single recruiter’s basket and assume they were privy to every relevant job opportunity. Be sure to look for roles via:
- Search engines
- Social media platforms
- Job boards (including Procurement Spark and Supply Chain Spark)
- Recruitment agencies
- Individual organizations you’re interested in working for
- Referrals from friends, family, LinkedIn network, and former colleagues/managers.
Don’t forget to set up job alerts on relevant websites and job boards, especially for supplychainspark.com
5. Establish a daily routine (and stick to it!)
Structuring your time in the same way you would for a regular, working day will help you to maintain motivation and commitment throughout the jobhunting process. You’ll need to figure out what a healthy routine looks like for you, but this could include:
- Waking up and kickstarting your day at the same time each day.
- Focusing on your job hunt for set blocks time and taking regular breaks.
- Daily exercise.
- Completing a checklist of specific daily tasks, such as checking job boards or posting on LinkedIn.
- Setting targets for the number of applications to be completed each day/ week/month.
- Doing something you love each day, whether it’s reading a book, taking a yoga class, or baking.
5. Develop a new skill
COVID-19 has impacted the job market in several ways and will continue to do so into 2021 and beyond. Evolving business priorities, ongoing supply chain disruptions, sporadic shifts in consumer behavior, and the rise of remote working will require a different kind of workforce. Hiring managers will look to recruit new employees that thrive in an agile workplace, respond effectively in high-pressured environments, and have mastered any newly in-demand skills.
Educating yourself on the latest industry trends and upskilling as required will set you apart from the pack as you go about your job search. Work to identify any skills gaps and then set aside a little time each day to plug them, whether it’s through further reading, self-teaching, or enrolling in an online course.
6. Keep busy
Learning will always be a good use of your time, even when it isn’t serving the specific purpose of upskilling for a future role. Subscribing to publications that center on your chosen field (or other areas of interest), reading content from industry thought leaders, researching companies you might like to work for, or taking up a new hobby are a few ways to keep your mind engaged and prepare you for interviews.
The job-hunting process can be slow and frustrating, and long waiting times between each stage of the application process can take their toll. Keeping busy and maintaining some semblance of a routine can help you to stay positive and focused, ultimately leading you towards your dream role.