Looking for a new job? If you’re unemployed, underemployed or simply unhappy with your current job situation, it’s never too late for a fresh start. The new year brings 365 days of possibility, so why not buckle down and commit to changing your life? It all starts with a plan.

What’s your job search plan?

You have probably been following a few steps to help you find the job of your dreams—or even just a job you can tolerate—but regardless of the goal you have in mind, your plan is coming up short. You haven’t been successful and you’re not sure what to try next. Well, the good news is you will benefit from staying positive. Just remember that for every job you apply to and don’t get, you’re one step closer to the job you WILL get.

Where do you want to work?

Searching for a new job can be a full-time job in itself—and overwhelming at that! When you visit or, you may find a sea of job postings looming before you and not know where to click first. Which companies would you love to work for? Do some research and find 10­–15. Then, check their online job pages for openings. If they have none, don’t despair. You can always send in your resume—you never know if they have unposted or upcoming openings.

Assess your skills and learn more

When you review job openings in your field, do you have what employers are looking for? This can be a difficult question to ask yourself, but it’s important to be honest. Based on your current skills and abilities, what can you learn to become more marketable? You might choose to take a class, attend a training, do more reading, ask for a different responsibility at work that can help you develop a new skill, or work with a career mentor.

Update your resume and Linked In page

Updating your resume and Linked In page on a regular basis will help you avoid scrambling around at the last minute. Include keywords and phrases in your resume, since many companies use scanning software to review resumes. You can find keywords to include by checking out job postings in your industry. Your resume and LinkedIn page should reflect the same information and be as up-to-date as possible—including the headshot you use on LinkedIn. You might even consider hiring a professional photographer to take yours and keep your page looking sharp!

Join a job search group

A job search group harnesses the benefits of group brainstorming, feedback and support from like-minded people experiencing the same things you are. You can find them by searching online or in local newspapers. OR you might even consider starting your own! Sources such as Craig’s List and Meetup are great ways to find and gather people with common goals.

Could you relocate?

If you’re willing, moving to a new location for a job can greatly increase your chances of finding an awesome new one. This is especially true if you currently live in a small town and are open to relocating to a bigger city with more opportunities.

Find a recruiter

Another valuable step in your job search strategy is working with a recruiter. They will work with you to understand your skills, experience and career goals, and help you find a new position that fits.

Let McGrath Systems help!

We place our candidates with positions in IT, engineering, human resources, administration and light industrial. To learn more, visit our job search page or contact us today!

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