The best thing about a new year is that it gives you a chance to get things moving in positive and constructive directions. While it is never too late to make changes or adjustments in your job search or career development, now is a good time to review your goals for 2014. Here’s a list of the Top 7 Job Search Tips for this year!

LinkedIn Company Pages


A successful and effective job search is based on your willingness to conduct research—whether it’s locating opportunities on job boards, talking to friends, looking up companies, or whatever the case may be. In this instance, my advice is to go onto LinkedIn, check select companies that you may be interested in working for, and see what they have available. Then, see who, in your network, may be connected with the organization. And then reach out to them and request they pass your name or resume along to the appropriate person.


Do you have a master resume?


A master resume is one long chronological record of your career history, which you add to as certain accomplishments, successes, or results occur throughout your career. It’s much easier to document numbers, metrics, facts, and figures if you keep track of them as they happen vs. trying to remember them when you suddenly find yourself out in the job market and reworking your resume. If you already have a master resume, then commit to updating it at the beginning of 2014 so it’s ready to go when you need it. As a resume writer, I find that my clients have the hardest time with recalling exact numbers. You’ll thank yourself later for writing it down now. That number will be much more impressive than a vague statement on your resume.


Monitor Your Online Image


The last thing you need is for someone with a questionable background popping up on Google when a potential employer searches your name online. Be purposeful in monitoring your digital image. Google yourself and see what pops up. The results may surprise you.


Create A Network


If you’ve just been playing around on LinkedIn and Twitter until now, it’s time to buckle down and be intentional. Start creating a network and become an active part of your network. You never know what kind of opportunities may arise from connections you’ve made and professional relationships you’ve started.


Cultivate Your Network


Once you’ve started networking, start cultivating your network and build meaningful relationships. Touch base with those in your network, keep in contact, and develop a great rapport. Your network has a better chance of helping you find a new job than any other means you will utilize in your job search. Purpose to make connections and build relationships.


Don’t Just Click APPLY


Job searching is more than sitting on the job boards clicking APPLY all day. Thousands of other people—many who are not even remotely qualified—are flooding employers’ in-boxes and applicant tracking software with their resumes and online applications. It makes it pretty difficult to stand out in stack of 900 other people. Go one step further … see who, in your network, may be connected with the organization, and then research who the hiring manager is, get a name, make a call, snail mail your resume—think outside the job board box. Use it as a basic tool to locate a position of interest, and then commit to going the extra mile to get your foot in the door.


Go to the Source


The previous point leads right into this one. It’s much more effective to go right to the source of the opening—the hiring manager. You can research on company web pages, LinkedIn, and through your network to find the hiring manager for an organization you’re interested in working for. Then use snail mail as your ally; send a letter addressed to that person with your resume and cover letter enclosed. Handwrite on the envelope. It may appear to be “more professional” to have the name and address printed onto the envelope, or to use a label, but this only results in making the letter look like junk mail. And your resume and cover letter are far from being junk mail!  The hiring manager needs to see your experience and expertise and what a great fit you are!  So handwrite the name and address on it—and he or she will be much more likely to read it. It’s surprising how that works.