The New Year is fast approaching and with a new year comes new aspirations, new opportunities and new growth in many areas of both your personal and workplace life. It's time to evaluate your current career objectives, whether you are currently working, or seeking full or part-time employment. 2016 is set to be a growth year for positions in many industries throughout the Greater Toronto Area and now is a great time to take a closer look at your current "work-life" balance and find ways to improve your life both personally and professionally.
- Set Realistic Goals: Create a one year career plan for yourself. Your plan should include your career goals and how you are going to achieve them over the next year. Be sure to note how, and how often you will track/measure your successes (should be every 2-3 months). For example, you could set the goal of attending at least 2 networking events per month, and/or to apply to 5 - 10 positions you are qualified for per month. Be sure to follow your goals all the way through. Simply submitting a resume for 10 different positions is not the end of the application process. Doing a full job application includes following up with the company after applying as well! By setting attainable goals you will increase your self-esteem as you begin to recognize the competence you hold in achieving the goals you have set.
- Have a Clear Direction: The basis to any successful job search starts with a clear direction. What is your ideal job or career? Use your interests, education, and experience to determine the direction you would like to go career-wise. After determining your direction you should be able to answer the question, "what type of position are you looking for" in a specific, and concise manner. Having a clear direction will help you perform a more thorough and successful job search with more rewarding and suitable results.
- Create Professional Profiles on Social Networking Sites: Social Networking has exploded over the last several years. Recruiters are now, more than ever, using social networking sites to recruit, network and to also do background checks on current candidates they may be interviewing. Take advantage of this opportunity! Create professional, complimentary profiles for yourself, highlighting your qualifications and successes, and stay active on each site. Join groups, participate in discussions and following companies that you want to work for. This will increase your chances of being visible, and will help you be one of the first candidates to see their current openings.
- Brand Yourself: Branding yourself is important, especially when you're visible on social networking sites where your "brand" will be on display. Branding yourself will set you apart, which can help you get noticed in the job market. Make a list of what you personally and professionally represent, and learn how to express what's different about you. This could mean putting a personal brand statement on your resume stating who you are and what audience you serve, or creating a dynamic summary incorporating your personal brand statement on your LinkedIn summary or other social networking profiles. Remember to stay genuine, clear and consistent, and your brand will help you stand out in the crowd.
- Stay Positive: Searching for employment is a difficult task -it can become a full-time job in itself. While this may be trying on your attitude and at times, you may feel down about the whole process, it's important to try and stay positive throughout your search. Not only will a positive attitude keep you in a better, more confident state of mind, but you will also portray yourself to employers in a better light. There is nothing recruiters like less than desperate, pushy and rude job seekers who will "do anything" for a job. Keep a smile on your face, and a clear direction in your search.
Written by Rachel Mitchell, Manager, Business Development, TorontoJobs.ca. TorontoJobs.ca is a full-service recruitment organization, including TorontoJobs.ca Website, Toronto Jobs Newspaper, full-service Recruitment Division and Outplacement Services. The local focus and advanced features make TorontoJobs.ca a vital asset for both job seekers and employers within the Greater Toronto Area. Visit our Online Career Centre for additional articles on Career Development, Personal Branding and more!