The end of the year is nigh and as a job seeker, there is no better time to be prepared for 2020 than now. Here is what you should be doing to remain relevant in the job market and ahead of the pack this new year.

As the festive season has just passed us by, it is a common assumption that the end of the year is a time where employers wind down too. And yes, this is often the case in some industries. But, as a job seeker, the tail end is the exact stretch of the year where you should be capitalising on any down-time gifted.

The Christmas and New Year period presents an ideal opportunity to strategize job-seeking plans of attack and snag job prospects that those taking time out may miss all together. For anyone serious about getting back into the workforce or finding a dream job – now is when you can make your mark!

Below, I have highlighted some job seeking tips and career advice on what you can do to remain relevant and on-course to nab a dream position in 2020.

#1. Conduct a thorough self-assessment

The end of a year calls for time to put yourself on review. Take a look back over the year and reflect on any trials and tribulations as a job seeker that you can build on for next year. What lessons did you learn? How you can improve on those next time?

Scrutinise your resume, CV and social media accounts. How can you present yourself as an improved job candidate and more on-point based on what you are putting out there?

  • Determine what are your job-seeking goals for 2020 – where do you really want to be?
  • Does your resume highlight your areas of strength based on the type of job you really want?
  • Have you included important keywords throughout your resume to help with applicant tracking software?
  • Do you have up-to-date and accurate career information, courses and volunteering experience that you have completed?

Don’t forget to ask a friend or family member and someone you trust to look over your information for a second opinion too.

* Tip: could you do with some advice for setting career or personal goals in 2020? Take a look at one of our recent articles here.

#2. Get your creative on

Employers and job recruitment organisations often receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for an advertised position. So, if you want to stand out and illustrate yourself not only as someone with the skills required but as someone who can bring added “wow factor” to position, think about how you can deliver your message above and beyond. This can include anything from tailoring your resume to be more job-appropriate (using more specific keywords, highlighting your applicable key strengths, etc) to producing a quick video demonstrating your skills and attributes to the role as well as your innovative thinking. Depending on the type of job application, you could send this footage in with your application on a personalised USB for example.

Capitalise on the spare time you have available now to get creative and come up with a targeted job-seeking strategy based on your strengths and skills. What makes you so special?

#3. Do some networking

Networking is a great pathway to hearing about job opportunities that are not always advertised traditionally. And if you are feeling a little stale, networking with like-minded people can also help to kick-start your attitude into gear again.

Networking these days does not need to be face-to-face. Virtual networking can be just as important. Take the time to get active on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. Build a good profile and look out for valuable networking opportunities that could one day help guide you to your dream job.

#4. Enhance your skills by volunteering

If you feel like doing something extra special with your spare time that could open an opportunity or help develop your skillset, try taking on a volunteering activity. Volunteering only costs your time and attention to the detail. There is often a call for more help at the end of the year by a variety of not-for-profit charities.

If you are interested in volunteering work, the following websites can help to provide more information:

All being said, it is also very important to embrace the end of the year “break” for what it is. Among your job-seeking plans and activities, remember to enjoy some valuable down time as well. Refresh, reinvigorate, and get ready for a big year of new challenges ahead. Balance and time-out are essential in order to avoid burn-out. Our team at Optimum Consulting are on-hand to assist our valuable clients, new job seekers and organisations over the holiday period. If you need some help getting job-ready for 2020, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Alicia Sumich – Group Manager, Busines Development

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