New Year’s Resolutions for the Job-Seeker

Following Thanksgiving and on the precipice of a new year, thoughts turn to resolutions for the next 12 months.  Get out that fresh 2017 calendar and resolve to …

Whether you’re a believer in the resolution exercise or not, it’s a good time to refresh and regroup. Studies have shown that New Year’s resolutions are notoriously short-lived, but if you can think of them as more of an exercise in gratitude, you might have a better chance of making them last.

  • I will be realistic.
    • I won’t shoot for the moon in my job search. While a little bit of overstepping a job posting’s requirements is okay, don’t apply for the job that requires 10 years of experience and a PhD in biology when you have 18 months on the job and an English degree.
  • I will do my homework.
    • When applying for a job, any job, I will research the institution, the salary and will see if I know anyone who is connected to the school. There are many ways to do each of these things; and NO, a cursory look at a website will not do the trick.
  • I will say thank you.
    • When I do reach out to a friend or connection for “inside scoop” on either a university or a position, I will thank the individual who is giving me a hand. And sometimes, just drop people you know a note when you don’t want anything, just to be kind.
  • I will say thank you again.
    • After I have received the coveted interview, whether by phone, Skype or in-person, look up the names and titles of each and every person who participated in the process and write them a thank-you note. It need not be long, but refer to the position, how you would contribute in the role, and your appreciation for being considered. Proofread. And, be nice to the receptionist.
  • I will be gracious in defeat.
    • If all of the above still doesn’t get you where you want to go, accept defeat graciously. Learn something for the next time.
  • I will be grateful in victory.
    • Congratulations are in order! And repeat the “thank you” steps above, letting people know how you appreciated their role in your success!

Kimberley Sirk is a North Carolina-based writer and editor with government, higher education and big-brand healthcare public relations and marketing experience.

originally written 12/2015
updated 12/2016

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