A new year means a fresh start, so if you're currently looking for a job, take this opportunity to regroup and rethink your strategy. After all, a job search is a dynamic endeavor, and the tricks that worked last year may not be effective now. Use these tips from job-search boot camp to maximize your chances of success.
Mind your p's and q's
One thing that hasn't changed much over the years is the resume. It's one of the most important parts of your search, so make sure it's as perfect as you can make it. Read through several times, not just for spelling and grammar mistakes, but also to identify any unnecessary information. Replace any vague statements you find with something that presents cold, hard facts about your abilities and accomplishments. You may also need multiple resumes for different jobs: Generalized online job boards often use filters to look for keywords. Unless your resume is an 85-percent, match with the job post's language, you're much better off perusing specific company sites.
Go big by thinking small
You also need to know where to look. You're likely to apply to a few huge companies, simply because you know of them and they're a good place to start looking. But keep in mind that 66 percent of new jobs are created by businesses with fewer than 500 employees, so don't overlook the smaller options either.
Straighten up your social media
Speaking of online job searching, there's a new tool both job-seekers and employers have at their disposal: social media. It's safest to assume that a hiring manager will Google you before an interview and will come across your social media pages. It's advisable to lock these down or clean them up for the duration of your job search, just to be safe. And don't forget to update your LinkedIn connections - this network can be a great way to generate leads.
Be a bookworm
And of course, don't forget to do your own research. Looking up a company's website, Twitter profile or Facebook page prior to an interview can give you valuable insight into how they operate. Asking relevant and pointed questions in your interview will certainly paint you in a good light with the hiring manager.