5 Job Seeker Resolutions to Make in 2014

The New Year often brings the promise of change, possibility and resolving to make this year better than the last. Some of the most popular resolutions that we make are to quit smoking, get fit, stress less, get out of debt, and find a new job. If you’re yearning to give your two-weeks notice or hoping to finally land a new career, here are five steps to help you achieve your goal.


1. Update Your Resume: Contrary to many blog posts on the subject, traditional resumes are not dead. If you are job hunting, a well-written resume that clearly articulates what you have to offer and why you are the best person for the job will be a must.

2.  Improve Your LinkedIn Profile: If your current profile lacks accomplishments, a decent headshot, skills, recommendations and/or links to your work, then resolve to make 2014 the year that you create an all-star LinkedIn profile. Or, if you have yet to create a profile, consider carving out some time in January to build one.

3. Clean Up Your Digital Footprint: In 2014, recruiters and employers will continue to use social networks to identify and evaluate candidates. They are scouring sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, About.me, Instagram, Pinterest and blogs looking for talent. So, ask yourself: are your social profiles helping or hurting you? If the latter, put a plan in place to clean up your presence.

4. Engage Your Network: Friends, family and your extended networks are often happy to help in any way that they can. Letting people know that you “are looking” may be a good source of job leads or assistance with your resume. And, who knows … someone may even offer to refer you to their HR team, giving you an added “in” into a company.

5. Keep Your Head Up: Job searches come with highs and lows, and it is important to stay positive, professional and persistent. If you let your frustrations get the best of you, recruiters and would-be employers will notice and this could end up hurting you in the long run. Take each email correspondence, job application, call and interview as if it is your first.


As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” As you go through the job search, it will be important to develop your strategy and then expertly put that plan to work. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or struggling, consider reaching out for assistance. There are many articles, books and community resources available to job seekers; I would even encourage you to download the Essential Job Seeker Toolkit for free.

What other tips do you have to help job seekers land a new job in the New Year?

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Reader Interactions


  1. Michail-Lazaros Giounanlis says

    Thank you very much Shannon. Very nice article with simple and coherent advise for job-seekers like me. I have one question to make: Is it to good to have a LinkedIn headline like this when you are unemployed: Open to new opportunities at customer service or administration positions?

    Best regards and Happy New Year!

    • Shannon says

      Hi Michail-Lazaros:

      I’ve heard career advice experts go both ways on this, Yes it’s OK and No, because it looks desperate. Here’s what I would do:

      Ensure that your profile includes contact info, is public and includes keywords so you come up in relevant searches. Under the “advice for contacting” and “summary” sections, consider adding that you are open to new career opportunities in A, B, and C. In the headline, I would stick to using words related to who you are as a professional; not who you are as a job seeker. Why? Simply because LinkedIn ranks the headline keywords heavily when it comes to their search algorithm.

      I hope this helps!
      Kindly – SS

      • Michail-Lazaros Giounanlis says

        Hi Shannon,

        Thank you very much once again for your quick reply. Indeed, that was very helpful. In addition, i totally agree with you. I already made my changes! I look forward to new posts.

        Best regards



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