5 Ways to Jump Start Your Job Search

The New Year is about renewal, rejuvenation, and possibilities.  The year 2010 is already leaving on a high note as U.S. Consumers are on track to spend over $450 billion by January 1st. Job seekers can use positive economic forecasts like the one above to their advantage.  Ending sales numbers for their companies may be average but the positive forecasts may just lighten the grip on the corporate pocketbooks.

5 Ways to Jump Start Your Job Search

Companies are more likely to hire in 2011 than they have since early 2008 especially with this positive economic news.  Here are 5 ways to make it happen.

  • The Not-So-Extreme Makeover. Sometimes a change will do you good.  A haircut and color can go a long way to give you the added confidence to lead with your best qualities in the job search.  Take advantage of the holiday sales on suits and business interview attire.  Most retail companies fiscal year doesn’t end until January 31st, and they want to keep the holiday spending momentum by enticing you to use those holiday gift cards.
  • Business Cards Matter. The exchange of business cards is the number one way to network with business professionals.  Don’t let your lack of business cards leave the wrong impression. VistaPrint offers 250 free business cards to everyone.  You pay only shipping and processing.  No catch just the VistaPrint Logo on the back of your cards.
  • Leverage Your Network. Up to 80% of jobs go unadvertised. A simple email message to your close business colleagues and friends with a copy of your resume and a short note detailing your target position and companies can be the difference maker.  Don’t only rely on social networking platforms to network.  Pick up the phone and meet with business contacts face to face.
  • Hit the Gym. Job opportunities happen in the strangest places.  I have hired candidates I met at grocery stores, restaurants, and on vacation.  The gym is a great place to help to look your best in the new year but also to network.  Participate in classes and team sport activities where personal interactions and conversations are more likely to happen.
  • Volunteer. This is a great place to meet and build relationships with your city’s movers and shakers while doing something good for the community.  A solid volunteer history can demonstrate to a hiring manager that you’ve been working without actually working.  Work with non-profit agencies where you can gain valuable skills and industry related experience to give you an edge.

There you have it.  Five sometimes unconventional and often overlooked ways to get a jump start in the job search.  Sometimes thinking and doing outside the box is just what you need to make the right impression.  Best of luck in 2011 and beyond.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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