Sometimes it seems like finding a new job takes forever, and you can start to feel hopeless. Get your job search off to a great start…

You’re a diligent job seeker who always personalizes cover letters and re­searches a company before applying. And kudos for an error-free resume and an impeccable elevator pitch! Such things put you well on your way to job search success.

Sometimes, however, it’s exciting (and profitable) to go beyond tried-and-true job search advice. The turning calendar marks a perfect time to add a bit of freshness to your arsenal. Here, experts offer five unique ways for candidates to begin the year with a bang: 

Start a blog.

“Focus on your industry and get a blog going,” suggests Adriana Llames, CEO of XecuCoach. “Write a 250-400 word blog once per week on the topic of your choice (related to your industry) to gain credibility and relevancy, and increase your SEO results. Link it to your LinkedIn profile; share it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; and watch your credibility and recruiter contacts increase.”

Sing someone else’s praises.

“Write recommendations on LinkedIn for people—the secret to receiving is by first giving,” says Emily Liou, career happiness coach at CultiVitae. “People will appreciate that you took the time to write something nice. It’s a great reason to reconnect and update them on what you’re looking for. They will remember your kindness and see how they can sincerely help with your new goal.”

Demonstrate creative problem-solving ability.

“If you can identify a way that a company could improve, you could approach them and offer to help them make it happen,” says Jason Lavis, marketing director at Natural Resource Professionals Limited (NATRESPRO).

“It could be that you know a new marketing channel that they have ignored. Or perhaps as an end user, you’ve identified ways to make the process or product more efficient or user-friendly. By directly approaching decision-makers with actionable ways of improving their business, you’ll set yourself apart from everyone else. There’ll be no competition for a job vacancy that you personally create.”

"If you can identify a way that a company could improve, you could approach them and offer to help them make it happen..."

-Jason Lavis


“Professional networking can be a drag, and sometimes the conversation can be awkward or forced,” says Matt Dodgson, director at Market Recruitment. “Find an organization you are passionate about and try to devote at least one day a month to volunteering. You meet lots of people, and you can relatively easily forge a professional relationship through the bond of volunteering.”

Go “old school.”

“Stop by the hiring manager’s office to shake hands and introduce yourself,” says Kathleen Steffey, CEO of Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search. “Or FedEx handwritten cards to the employers’ office directed to the hiring manager with your resume. They’ll always be opened.”

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