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Job Search Tips for the New Year

Many career experts report that January and February are the best months to find new jobs. So, what should you do to get ready to job search in the New Year? Job searching can be treated like a diet. Make a New Year’s resolution to get ready and put your best foot forward. Just as dieters often have the most success when they keep a “diet journal”, job seekers should keep a “job search journal” and jot down all of the things they are doing to find a job. Breaking down the steps one takes in looking for a new job will make things easier.

  1. Use an online or hardcover journal to keep track of your job search.
  2. Dust off your resume – make sure to have a few different resume drafts for the different types of jobs you are going to be applying to. Have resume drafts handy on your computer and also make sure to have some version of your work history on Linkedin. It may sound simplistic or obvious, but work to ensure the resumes you store on your computer/phone match the information you list on your Linkedin profile.
  3. Prepare cover letter drafts and make sure to personalize each and every cover letter for the various job openings you apply to.
  4. Update your list of contacts and reach out to them for informational meetings.
  5. Utilize career resources available to you at your university and library.
  6. Buy some thank you cards and stamps to ensure you send out “hard copy” thank you notes to everyone you meet. Yes, email thank you messages are fine, but if you want to stand out, write a thank you on a card or notepaper.
  7. Take suits/clothes into the dry cleaner for mending/cleaning and ensure you have nice/clean shoes.
  8. Focus on updating your grooming – hair, shoes, makeup, etc.
  9. Practice interviewing with friends/professors/job search experts
  10. Exercise, eat healthy foods and try to enjoy at least one thing during your day
  11. Let everyone in your circle know you are looking for a job. You never know who might be helpful!
  12. Keep going until you find success.
  13. Good luck to you!

There is a thin line between success and failure. Too many people give up just as they are “getting into gear” with their job searches. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure to give help to others who are looking as well. Job searching is hard work. Prepare for it as though you are preparing for a marathon or the fight of your life. Keep going and going until you yield results.

Margaret “Mag” Gottlieb is the Career Director at the Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University. Connect with Mag on LinkedIn or via email at

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