Here’s some workplace news to brighten your holidays: According to a recent Indeed.com survey, 61 percent of employers plan to hire more people in 2018 than in 2017 and 40 percent are worried about finding enough good people to fill those openings.
It’s not just tech and health care firms who are poised to hire. Indeed.com says a diverse group of industries plan to be on the hunt, with architecture, engineering, IT, telecom and professional service firms at the top of the list.
I know that the end of December is normally a time to relax and forget about work for a while. But this year, you’d be smart to steal a few hours away from the merriment to prepare for the hot hiring year ahead. The little bit of time you invest now might just lead to the gift of a meaningful work in the year ahead.
1. Reconnect with old friends and colleagues. Take advantage of the holiday season to schedule a catch-up phone call or get together over a cup of coffee. That way, you’ll be top of mind if your friends hear about opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Also, send out holiday cards to people who have helped you professionally over the past year. A handwritten note of thanks, especially one that is unexpected, can go a long way towards renewing professional relationships.
2. Say “Yes” to the office holiday party. In a LinkedIn survey, nearly half of professionals said attending the office holiday party had a positive impact on their career. They learned about job opportunities and enjoyed face time with executives they wouldn’t have chatted with otherwise. So, even if you’d rather endure a root canal than attend the party, go and mingle. With luck, you might be able to turn this dreaded social obligation into a boost for your career.
3. Refresh your LinkedIn profile. With so many companies and nonprofits looking to fill positions, more recruiters than ever will likely be active on LinkedIn in the coming months. Three quick ways to raise your visibility on the site:
Update your LinkedIn profile with all of your 2017 achievements, honors and trainings. Also, link to any relevant PR mentions or articles from the past year.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile with the keywords and phrases recruiters look for. Not sure what those keywords are? Read postings for jobs in your target market and note the key buzzwords and phrases. Then integrate that language into your LinkedIn headline, Summary and Experiences sections.
Activate your LinkedIn “Open Candidate” signal to privately alert recruiters that you’re open to opportunities (LinkedIn hides the signal from recruiters at your employer, as well as affiliated recruiters). According to LinkedIn, simply activating this feature makes you twice as likely to receive relevant messages from recruiters. To activate the signal, go to the Jobs section of your LinkedIn profile, click on Career Interests and turn-on the “Let recruiters know you’re open” signal at the top of the page.
4. Update your resumé. It’s a good idea to do this at least once a year, even if you don’t expect to be involved in a job search. That way, you’ll be able to respond in a timely fashion if you hear of an opportunity. In December, ensure that your resumé’s contact information is current; add any promotions, accomplishments or trainings from the past year and eliminate old work experience that is no longer relevant or needlessly dates you (such as old computer programming languages you know).
5. Sign up for automatic job alerts. That way you’ll be the first to know when the job you want opens up. To activate alerts, visit a few of your favorite job boards and create alerts for selected job titles, keywords and companies. You can also sign-up for job alerts on LinkedIn.
6. Google yourself and clean up any digital dirt. Run a Google search on your name to ensure that your digital footprint is recruiter-ready. Scroll down for at least four pages to see what appears. If you find content that concerns you, make an effort to have it removed. Double-check your privacy settings on social media sites like Facebook, too, so only the people you intend to see your information have access.
7. Download a free copy of New Year, New Job! 101 Top Tips from the Job-Hunt Experts for Your Holiday Job Search. It’s a quick read that is chock-full of smart tips from the best job search pros.
And if you know of someone who is unemployed, be a good friend and send a link to the guide along with your holiday greetings.
Cheers to your job search success in 2018. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
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