It’s that time of year again. The time to cast your eyes back over the year that just was, and dust off your turkey stained limbs for the year ahead. But what resolutions should the spiffing job-seeker be setting themselves for 2014? We offer our pick.
Clean up your online profile
You think employers don’t Google-stalk just as much as you do? These days it’s basically just routine to check out a prospective employee via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and anywhere else you might pop up – so make sure that everything on show is something you’re OK with an employer seeing.
Just have a quick check of your Facebook privacy settings, make sure your LinkedIn is as up to date as possible, and – if you reckon it’s appropriate – try and tie in your Twitter bio and output to the industry and field you’re looking to get a job in. Get your social media profiles looking cohesive and (vaguely) professional, whilst maintaining a sense of you. Easy.
Sign up to some brilliant mailing lists
It’s really easy to drown in a sea of online guff, and DAMMIT BUZZFEED you are both a mighty temptress and a colossal waste of potentially productive time. Save yourself from the draw of link-bait by getting what you really need from the web to your inbox – stay on top of news in your industry, and be the first to hear about opportunities that might interest you.
Which ones you should go for are up to you, OBVIOUSLY you should start with the Enternships weekly newsletter, come now, but after that, it all depends on what kind of work you’re trying to get, and what industry you’re most passionate about. A few we recommend starting with:
Business Insider – the hottest tech and business news, boiled down to no-nonsense bullet points. Brilliant for those who want to stay informed about the technology scene
Daily Muse – great advice for job-seekers, as well as inspiring tales and quirky news. Will put a smile on your face, guaranteed.
IdeasTap – essential for creative types. News about funding, freelance and full-time opportunities for writers, curators, designers, digital whizzes and more.
TechCrunch – all the tech updates you need, in the typical Crunch style (smart, concise, witty – what more could you want?)
Keep doing what you love, whether it pays or not
Obviously, the overarching goal here is to get paid for your passion – but it’s not always as simple as that. Regardless of whether you’re first few employment steps (and by that, we mean the first few years you’re getting paid to do literally anything), make sure you keep up with the things that give you genuine joy – be that writing, musical instrumenting, sportsing, or any other of the -ings.
Not only will it keep your soul nourished, it really is good to be able to show to prospective employers that you like doing things off your own back. And though yes, it may take a few years to find a way to merge what you love to do with how you’re earning the dolla dolla, there’s certainly no chance of it if you don’t keep up with the hobbies you hold dear.
It’s the immortal motto of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy for a reason, you know. Yes, the world can feel scary and overwhelming, and darn it with a new year ready and waiting to be plucked, the pressure to SUCCEED (whatever that means) can be almost paralysing. Breathe. It’s simpler than you might think.
Don’t apply for jobs you don’t care about, ‘just in case’. You’ll hate applying to them, and the employer will probably work out that you don’t actually want the role fairly quickly. One well-constructed, thoughtful and passionate job application is worth ten that you’ve dashed out quickly – work hard, but work smart. Be patient. Keep the bigger picture in mind. Don’t panic.
Remember – this can be fun
It’s somehow easy to forget that the people looking at your CV, looking over your cover letters are actual human beings who enjoy being surprised, enjoy having fun, and like working with people they can have a drink with at the end of the day. Throw a bit of yourself into your applications, inject a bit of light amongst the serious stuff, and remember that your working hours are going to take up the majority of your waking existence. There’s no excuse for not enjoying it.
Reckon we’ve missed something vital? Throw us your resolutions in the comments, and if we like them, we’ll add them.