Reassess Your Job Search For the New Year

This month, many of us are making resolutions and setting goals for our careers in 2010. But if you're still on the hunt for a new job, don't think you're off the hook - the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reevaluate and fine-tune your job search. Whatever it is that's hindering your search, I've got tips to get you back on track.

  • If you're not getting responses to your applications . . . Take a closer look at your resume, cover letter, and the positions you're choosing to apply for. Typos in your resume, generic-sounding cover letters, or applying for positions you're over- or underqualified for can all keep you from getting past even the first level of screening, so take some time to ensure you're making the right impression on potential employers.
  • If you're getting lots of first interviews but no follow-ups . . .It's time to reexamine your interviewing style - and be as honest as possible. You need to consider everything from the firmness of your handshake to your attire and interview responses. My suggestion? Stage a fake interview with a friend. Set a time to meet her somewhere, dress as you would for an interview, and ask her to prepare questions for you ahead of time. Then ask her to critique you. It may feel silly, but it's the best way to get a (semi) objective opinion.
  • If you're coming this close but just not getting the job . . . You may need to be more aggressively persistent in your follow-up. If you've done everything right and made it through several phases of interviews but aren't getting any job offers, consider whether you're conveying enough enthusiasm about the job to employers. Polite but persistent calls and emails after an interview checking in, thanking the interviewer for his or her time, or restating your interest can sometimes sway an employer who was on the fence about you, so don't underestimate the value of going that extra mile.
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