It’s that time of year again; time to reflect on the past and set goals for success in the upcoming year. Setting New Year’s resolutions may be a cliché exercise, but taking the time to determine what your focus should be in the next year is the first step to achieving it.

New Year’s also proves to be a good time to start or reinvigorate your job search. Whether you’re looking for a change or still trying to find a job – use this annual time of self-reflection to gear yourself up for a strong start to the New Year. If finding a new job is your New Year’s resolution, here are some tips you can use to get started.

  1. Reevaluate your resume.  When is the last time you thoroughly reviewed your resume?  It’s time to comb through it and see how you can make it better.  Are there new skills or experiences that you can add that will make you more marketable?  Is it time to drop that irrelevant first job off your resume?  Add a new “coat of paint” by improving your formatting. Don’t forget to make the same changes (or re-upload) any resumes you have posted on job boards.
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile. Same principle as my previous point – when’s the last time you’ve updated this? LinkedIn has made some enhancements over the last year – make sure you’re keeping up.  Still no profile picture?  Get with the times and add one to your profile.
  3. Sign up for job alerts.  You can sign up for e-mail notifications on almost any job board. Get daily e-mails from sites like Indeed, SimplyHired, CareerBuilder, or Monster.  Many companies’ fiscal years begin January 1st, meaning new budgets for new positions!  Don’t miss out!
  4. Develop your skills.  Are there skills that you need to develop to be more marketable? Look for opportunities to get additional training.  Contact your local career or unemployment centers to see if you can get grants. Take classes at your local community education programs or even at your town library.
  5. Dust off your references.  When is the last time you spoke to your references about your job search?  Make sure they know for what and why you are looking.  Have a friend mock check your references to see how they do!
  6. Get a new suit. Did you get gift cards or money for gifts this holiday season?  Use it towards a new suit for interviewing.  Sometimes new clothes can give us a renewed sense of self confidence!

Whether you stick to your resolutions or not, the New Year remains an ideal annual opportunity to reflect on your current situation and make decisions about how to move forward in the next year. If a new job is what you’re after, dust yourself off and re-energize yourself towards finding the best job for you.