Setting some big career goals for 2022? If you've resolved to land a new job in the new year, here are 10 tips for making the most of your time and effort as you embark on this exciting endeavor. Hint: Like all well-planned business ventures, it begins and triumphantly ends with being organized.

1. Freshen things up 

Polish your LinkedIn profile and update your resume. While you’ll want to submit a resume and cover letter tailored to each specific opportunity, it’s important to have strong (and current) documents to start from. 

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2. Contact your references

Proactively reach out to your references now and let them know that you're looking for a new job. Provide details about the type of role you’re pursuing, highlight any notable career developments, and mention that you’d still like to include them on any reference lists you’re asked to provide. Use the message as any opportunity to share your appreciation and to ask if you might be able to do anything to help them. 
 

3. Go board browsing 

Search listings on job boards and industry association websites. Make "eyes on the prize" your mantra. Just remember that some of the best career opportunities may not yet be advertised. Which leads us to our next point…

4. Connect with an expert 

Specialized staffing agencies such as Cella are premier sources of invaluable information about the job market. Recruiters know what client companies are looking for and how job seekers can best market their skills. And they often know of upcoming opportunities that haven’t yet been announced. A recruiter can also help you refine your resume or portfolio, navigate the interview process and negotiate compensation. 

5. Network, network, network 

Attend virtual or in-person industry networking events to meet new contacts. Spread the word about your job search in your own circle, and tap your professional network to help identify and evaluate opportunities. 

6. Set a schedule

Even in a candidate-friendly market, securing a job offer requires discipline and diligence. Create a clearly defined daily or weekly schedule to devote to your job-hunting endeavors. 

7. Make a list of appealing employers

Don’t just focus on job titles. Create a list of companies that have values that align with yours and then regularly check the Career pages of those organizations. 

8. Say thanks

Did a neighbor send you a promising job lead? Did an old colleague endorse you on LinkedIn? Did a friend from college offer to proofread your resume? Whenever you receive any kind of help, always share prompt and sincere appreciation – and offer to return the favor when the time comes.

9. Stay organized 

Track applications submitted in Google docs, Excel or Word, or through a tool like JibberJobber.com. Also, make note of the people you contact, when you communicate and the responses you receive. The minutiae of job seeking can be overwhelming. Good records help you keep things manageable.

10. Believe in yourself

Go into your job search with an optimistic attitude. When in doubt about whether or not to apply for a job, plan to submit your resume. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.”

Launching a job search? Cella can help!